Date: 9 May 2014 15:25

Pakistan: 47 Human Rights Organisations Across Asia Strongly Condemn the Killing of Human Rights Defender Mr. Rashid Rehman


The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), together with its 47 member organisations from Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Timor Leste, strongly condemn the killing of Mr. Rashid Rehman, a prominent human rights defender and lawyer in Pakistan and the Multan Task Force  Coordinator of FORUM-ASIA’s member organisation in Pakistan, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).


Mr. Rehman was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Multan, Pakistan on 7 May 2014. The gunmen entered his office and opened fire indiscriminately, resulting in his death and severely injuring two of his associates. Mr. Rehman had received threats over his defence of a professor of a university against charges of blasphemy. Mr. Rehman’s organistaion, HRCP, has repeatedly warned of reprisals against Mr. Rehman and threats he was receiving. HRCP had particularly pointed out that the opposing counsel in the said blasphemy case had made threats in the presence of the judge. Despite this, he was denied any protection by the security personnel.


There has been an extremely worrying trend of steep deterioration in the security of human rights defenders in Pakistan over the last fewyears. The Government’s inaction and unwillingness to address attacks by extreme forces and non-state actors has severely compromised the security of human rights defenders.


Journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders working on issues such as democratic space, blasphemy and human rights violations by security forces are particularly targeted. The growing intolerance towards dissent and rising impunity has created a climate of fear, making it impossible for human rights defenders to carry out their legitimate work.  Earlier this month a senior journalist was shot by unidentified men.


Pakistan has long faced breakdowns in its democratic institutions and processes. If the media and human rights defenders are unable to contribute towards building a tolerant society, any progress that has been made will only be reversed.


FORUM-ASIA and its member organisations thus urge the Government of Pakistan to immediately investigate into the killing of Mr. Rehman and ensure that all those involved are held fully accountable with the full force of law. The Government must also take immediate and concrete measures to ensure an end to attacks on human rights defenders with impunity.


Released by:


Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), on behalf its following member organisations:



  1. ASK – Ain O Salish Kendra
  2. MLAA – Madaripur Legal Aid Association
  3. Odhikar
  4. RIC – Resource Integration Center


  1. HREIB – Human Rights Education Institute of Burma


  1. ADHOC – Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association
  2. LICADHO – Cambodia League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights


  1. ADHIKAR – Center for Social Action Documentation Research & Training
  2. Dalit Foundation
  3. FARR – Friends’ Association for Rural Reconstruction
  4. MASUM – Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
  5. PW – People’s Watch
  6. PVCHR – People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights
  7. RDS-LRSA – Rural Development Society
  8. SICHREM – South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring


  1. AJI – The Alliance of Independent Journalists Indonesia
  2. HRWG – Indonesia’s NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy – Human Rights Working Group
  3. IMPARSIAL – Inisiatif Masyarakat Partisipatif untuk Transisi Berkeadilan
  4. KontraS – The Federation of Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence
  5. PBHI – Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association
  6. SAMIN – Yayasan Sekretariat Anak Merdeka Indonesia
  7. YLBHI – Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation


  1. ERA Consumers – Education and Research Association for Consumers
  2. SUARAM – Suara Rakyat Malaysia


  1. CHRD – Center for Human Rights and Development
  2. GI – Globe International


  1. CSRC – Community Self Reliance Centre
  2. INSEC – Informal Sector Service Center
  3. WWS – Women’s Welfare Society


  1. B4A – Bytes for All (ICTs for development, democracy and social justice)
  2. HRCP – Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
  3. NCJP – National Commission for Justice and Peace
  4. PODA – Potahar Organization for Development Advocacy
  5. SPARC – Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child


  1. PAHRA – Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
  2. PLRC – PILIPINA Legal Resources Center
  3. TFDP – Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
  4. Tanggol-Kalikasan – Public Interest Environmental Law Office


  1. Think Centre

South Korea

  1. KHIS – Korean House for International Solidarity
  2. PSPD – People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

Sri Lanka

  1. INFORM – Information Monitor
  2. LST – Law and Society Trust


  1. TAHR – Taiwan Association for Human Rights


  1. People’s Empowerment

Timor Leste

  1. HAK Association – Perkumpulan Hukum, Hak Asasi dan Keadilan (Law, Basic Rights, and Justice Foundation)
  2. JSMP – Judicial System Monitoring Programme

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