Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) condemns the death threats to witnesses of gun downed former Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti case as the trials are in progress at Anti-Terrorism Court, Islamabad.
On February 1, 2014 when Akmal Bhatti one of the witnesses, entered at his workplace he found two leaflets and it had names of two renowned militant groups, the leaflets were thrown by them. In the leaflets, life ominous was given to him and other witnesses either they stop supporting the assesination case of Shahbaz Bhatti or die. Leaflets also had offensive and discourteous vocabulary for Shahbaz Bhatti, allies and Non-Muslims.
After appearing in the last hearing as prime witness at Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad where he appeared as single witness and recorded his statement on 22nd January, 2014, Akmal Bhatti, shared with HRFP that he is being threatened by militant groups not to record any further statement and to withdraw his name from the case.
Later on 19th February, 2014 Akmal Bhatti, Sikander Bhatti along with other witnesses did not appear for trail at Anti-Terrorism Court, Islamabad due to death threats on them. The lawyer of the case submitted an application at the Anti-Terrorism Court, Islamabad and appealed to provide security to witnesses that they can appear in the next hearing.
HRFP encouraged Government of Pakistan and higher authorities to take instant actions for pressure free trial, justice and against ruthless threats to eye witnesses and supporters and to ensure their wellbeing & protection and their families who are involved in this case.