In March, Prime Minister Imran Khan met with households of individuals who had been forcibly disappeared, allegedly by Pakistani safety forces, and pledged that their issues can be addressed. However, his authorities introduced no investigations in any instances.
Pakistan has greater than 4,600 prisoners on dying row, one of the world’s largest populations going through execution. Those on dying row are sometimes from probably the most marginalised sections of society.
In 2021, the Pakistan authorities intensified its efforts to management the media and curtail dissent. Authorities harassed, and at instances detained, journalists and different members of civil society for criticizing authorities officers and insurance policies. Violent assaults on members of the media additionally continued, the HRW mentioned within the report.
The authorities have expanded their use of draconian sedition and counterterrorism laws to stifle dissent, and strictly regulated civil society teams crucial of authorities actions or insurance policies.
They have additionally cracked down on members and supporters of opposition political events.
Women, non secular minorities, and transgender individuals proceed to face violence, discrimination, and persecution, with authorities failing to present enough safety or maintain perpetrators to account. The authorities continues to do little to maintain regulation enforcement companies accountable for torture and different critical abuses, HRW mentioned.
Attacks by Islamist militants, notably the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), concentrating on regulation enforcement officers and spiritual minorities killed dozens of individuals.
A local weather of concern impedes media protection of abuses by each authorities safety forces and militant teams. Journalists who face threats and assaults have more and more resorted to self-censorship.
Media shops have come underneath stress from authorities not to criticise authorities establishments or the judiciary. In a number of instances in 2021, authorities regulatory companies blocked cable operators and tv channels that had aired crucial packages, the report mentioned.
Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) reported intimidation, harassment, and surveillance of numerous by authorities authorities. The authorities used a brand new coverage to impede the registration and functioning of worldwide humanitarian and human rights teams.
Members of the Ahmadiyya non secular group proceed to be a serious goal for prosecutions underneath blasphemy laws in addition to particular anti-Ahmadi laws.
Militant teams and the Islamist political celebration Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) accuse Ahmadis of “posing as Muslims”. The Pakistan penal code additionally treats “posing as Muslims” as a legal offense.
According to a Pakistani human rights group, the Centre for Social Justice, not less than 1,855 individuals had been charged underneath nation’s blasphemy laws between 1987 and February 2021.
On May 17, 2021, dozens of individuals attacked a police station in Islamabad to lynch two brothers charged with blasphemy, breaking into the power and battling with law enforcement officials earlier than the station was introduced underneath management. The two brothers had been bodily unhurt. The police arrested a quantity of people who had been half of the mob, however none had been prosecuted.
On June 4, 2021, the Lahore High Court acquitted a Christian couple, Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar, of blasphemy after spending seven years on dying row. The couple was convicted in 2014 of sending “blasphemous” texts to a mosque cleric.
Last August, an eight-yr-outdated Hindu boy in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab, grew to become the youngest particular person to ever be charged with blasphemy in Pakistan after he was accused of defiling a carpet at a spiritual seminary. Following his launch on bail, a mob attacked a Hindu temple, inflicting injury. All expenses in opposition to the kid had been subsequently dropped.
Violence in opposition to ladies and women, together with rape, homicide, acid assaults, home violence, and compelled marriage, is endemic all through Pakistan. Human rights defenders estimate that roughly 1,000 ladies are killed in so-known as honour killings yearly.
Even earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic, over 5 million major college-age kids in Pakistan had been out of college, most of them women.
HRW analysis discovered women miss college for causes together with lack of faculties, prices related to finding out, youngster marriage, dangerous youngster labour, and gender discrimination.
School closures to shield in opposition to the unfold of Covid-19 affected nearly 45 million college students for many of the yr, whereas Pakistan’s poor web connectivity hampered on-line studying.
The European Union is Pakistan largest buying and selling accomplice. Last April, the European Parliament handed a decision deploring human rights violations in Pakistan and calling for an instantaneous evaluation of Pakistan’s eligibility for GSP+ standing, which grants Pakistan commerce advantages conditional on its compliance with human rights obligations.
In June, the EU and Pakistan held human rights talks. The EU’s report on Pakistan’s compliance with its human rights obligations to retain GSP+ standing is scheduled to be revealed in early 2022.