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Thursday, 10 March 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Pakistan - murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities

  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE), in writing. – Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities in Pakistan, sought to reform the country’s blasphemy laws and he was killed. The Pakistani Taliban reportedly took responsibility for the murder and pronounced the same fate for any further critics of the blasphemy laws. It is time for strong action to protect the reformers and human rights defenders who are risking their lives for freedom. I call upon the Council and the European External Action Service to ensure the protection of the other human rights defenders at risk in Pakistan and the effective and timely investigation of Minister Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination. The perpetrators must be brought to justice and the response of the government must be firm in order to have a deterrent effect.

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