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January 25, 2020

HRCP marks ‘Day of the Endangered Lawyer’

National

January 25, 2020

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) held a roundtable consultation Friday to mark the 10th annual ‘Day of the Endangered Lawyer’, the focus of which is Pakistan this year.

It was attended by members of bar councils and associations, and civil society organisations. Lawyer Asad Jamal, who moderated the session, explained why it was critical to discuss the threats faced by lawyers who defend human rights. HRCP honorary spokesperson IA Rehman underscored the need to document all such incidents of threats to lawyers. Participants shared a range of experiences, from lawyers who said they had been threatened openly by their own colleagues for representing clients from the Ahmadiya community, to those who had faced intimidation from state agency officials in cases related to torture or death in custody.

Politically sensitive cases, such as those pertaining to enforced disappearances, also put lawyers at risk. An important consensus was that woman lawyers and lawyers from religious minorities were subjected to greater harassment, not only from male colleagues, but also from judges.