For Immediate Release: December 26, 2012
New York City – Human Rights First condemns the mob violence which occurred in Pakistan when, according to press reports, crowds stormed a police station and beat to death a Muslim man accused of desecrating the Koran on December 22. According to witnesses, the victim’s body was then set on fire. This outburst of violence occurred 200 miles north of Karachi, in the Dadu district.
“We hope that all those responsible for the attack will be swiftly brought to justice,” said Human Rights Firsts’s Joelle Fiss.
30 people are currently detained in connection to the attack, as well as the police chief and five officers who failed to protect the victim. “The Pakistani police will only gain credibility if they do their job properly, which is to assure the security of their citizens. It is unacceptable that mobs managed to break through a police compound,” said Fiss.
In Pakistan, it has become commonplace for mobs to descend on towns, burning places of worship, looting homes and killing or injuring residents. Governments have largely failed in their obligations to protect people—both alleged violators of blasphemy laws as well as judges and lawyers involved in those cases—from extrajudicial mob violence. In some instances the authorities have been complicit and often the perpetrators have asserted it to be their “religious duty” to kill blasphemers and their supporters, which include friends, family, judges, and lawyers. For more information, see Human Rights First’s report “Blasphemy Laws Exposed.”