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Minorities in need of security, says Pakistani lawyer

Human rights defenders also at risk for defending people accused of blasphemy, says Sardar Mushatq Gill

Minorities in need of security, says Pakistani lawyer

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Published: June 02, 2016 09:57 AM GMT

Not enough is done by the Pakistani government to safeguard the lives of religious minorities and those working to help them, says a Christian lawyer.

"After five years, the killers of Catholic minister Shahbaz Bhatti have not been brought to justice,” Sardar Mushatq Gill, a Christian lawyer who is engaged in the defense of Christians in Pakistan told Agenzia Fides.

Bhatti, the Pakistani Catholic minister for minorities was assassinated March 2, 2011. He was a leading voice for religious freedom and peace in Pakistan and was shot dead by three masked men as he left his mother's home in Islamabad.

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"After Bhatti’s murder, the political leadership has not done much to ask the police and the judiciary to bring his killers to justice,” Gill told Agenzia Fides, the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

"Also no one asks to repeal the blasphemy law, which continues to encourage mass violence, murders committed with impunity and marginalization of religious minorities," he said.

Gill said many human rights defenders are at risk for defending cases of people unjustly accused of blasphemy, "but the state does not offer adequate protection and security."

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