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Human Rights Commissioner shocked at assassination of Pakistan’s Minorities Minister

02.03.2011 - Press release

Markus Löning, the Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, today (2 March) made the following statement in response to the assassination of Pakistan Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti:

“I was extremely shocked to hear about the heinous murder of Mr Shahbaz Bhatti. I had come to know him as a man who worked for religious freedom and the affairs of minorities in Pakistan with keen commitment and great personal courage. This brutal act is a major blow and represents a great loss to Pakistan society.
I call on Pakistan’s political and religious leaders to accept their responsibility now to help ensure that people of all religions can live together in peace and security in Pakistan. A constituent part of this responsibility is the duty actively to protect all minorities.”

Shahbaz Bhatti, himself a member of the Christian minority, had recently been campaigning particularly for a change to Pakistan’s blasphemy law. According to the penal code in Pakistan, blasphemy is punishable by death or life imprisonment.

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