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February 2017

Around the world, religious freedom is under a sustained attack. In the Asia-Pacific region, there are governments that restrict the freedom to choose and practice a religion, that discriminate in law and policy against certain religious groups, that…
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Women, Religious Groups, Refugees Endure Violence, Intimidation

(New York) – Pakistan’s government did little to protect vulnerable groups and religious minorities from attack by militant groups in 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. The authorities clamped down on civil society groups for…
Supporters of the Gender Interactive Alliance dance and chant slogans as they pose with a national flag ahead of the Independence Day in Karachi, August 13, 2016.
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The apparent objective of the March 27 attack in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park was to target families belonging to a marginalised Christian community on Easter Sunday. The park is in one of the few public spaces where admission is free and thus accessible to the…
Rescue workers move a body from the site of a blast outside a public park in Lahore, Pakistan on March 27, 2016.
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Some of the hundreds of people jailed and awaiting trial on charges of violating Pakistan’s dangerously ambiguous and discriminatory blasphemy law have reason to be cautiously optimistic. Punjab’s provincial judiciary has drawn up a shortlist of 50 cases…
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Pakistan’s blasphemy law has claimed its first Bollywood victim.

Pakistan’s blasphemy law has claimed its first Bollywood victim. On November 26, a court in Gilgit, Pakistan sentenced Mir Shakil ur-Rehman —the owner of Geo TV, the country’s largest media group — Bollywood star Veena Malik, her husband Asad Malik and…
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 Killings of Shia Hazara in

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Sectarianism in the Muslim world is dividing people who have lived together for centuries.

The last month hasn't been a good one for religious tolerance. As Egypt teetered on the edge of chaos following the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, unknown assailants killed a Coptic Christian priest in Sinai and Muslim extremists…
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Attacks on Religious Minorities Surge, Judiciary Takes Political Decisions

(Islamabad) – Pakistan’s government has failed to act against abuses by the security and intelligence agencies, which continued to allow extremist groups to attack religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. The…
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Government and Security Forces Fail to Protect Muslim Minority

(New York) – The Pakistani government should urgently act to protect the minority Shia Muslim community in Pakistan from sectarian attacks by Sunni militant groups, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should hold accountable those responsible…
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Act Against Militant Groups, Revoke Discriminatory Laws

(New York) – Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments should bring to justice those responsible for the May 2010 attacks on Ahmadiyya mosques that killed 94 worshipers, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 28, 2010, Islamist militants attacked two…
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Hold Accountable Extremist Groups Responsible for Killings

(New York) – The Pakistani government should urgently act to protect Shia Muslims in Pakistan from sectarian attack during the Muslim holy month of Moharram, Human Rights Watch said today.  In recent years, Sunni extremist groups in Pakistan have been…
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Dismantle and Hold Accountable Sunni Extremist Groups

(New York) – The Pakistani government should take all necessary steps to ensure the security of Shia Muslims in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should hold accountable those responsible for ordering and…
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LAHORE--- As the world celebrated Christmas, Pakistan's beleaguered Christians cowered in fear. Baying for the blood of a Christian woman unjustly convicted under the country's abusive and discriminatory blasphemy law, Islamist extremists held country-…
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Legal Discrimination Emboldens Extremists

(New York) - Pakistan's government should immediately introduce legislation to repeal the country's blasphemy law and other discriminatory legislation, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also take legal action against Islamist militant…
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Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked the Pakistan's government to introduce legislation in the parliament to repeal laws discriminating against religious minorities, including the penal statute that makes capital punishment mandatory for "blasphemy." On…
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Attack on Hospital Treating Victims Shows How State Inaction Emboldens Extremists

(New York) – Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments should take immediate legal action against Islamist extremist groups responsible for threats and violence against the minority Ahmadiyya religious community, Human Rights Watch said today. On May…