For Immediate Release: August 26, 2011
Washington, DC – Human Rights First is appalled by the violent abduction of Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Pakistani Governor Salman Taseer, an outspoken opponent of the nation’s blasphemy laws. Shahbaz Taseer was kidnapped at gunpoint on Thursday.
“We are shocked and appalled by Shahbaz’s senseless abduction,” said Human Rights First’s Elisa Massimino. “We hope those associated with this event will quickly resolve this matter and safely return Shahbaz to his family.”
Since Salman Taseer’s murder in January 2011, Human Rights First has worked closely with Shehrbano Taseer, Shahbaz’s sister, in her ongoing efforts to amend blasphemy laws that fuel violence. She has been a strong proponent for tolerance and reform, often meeting with international leaders at the highest levels of government and publishing articles detailing the need for change. During its annual Human Rights Dinner in New York City, the organization will honor Shehrbano’s commitment to her father’s cause in the face of ongoing threats to her own safety.
To learn more about the dangerous consequences of blasphemy laws, read Human Right First’s report “Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions.”