International Human Rights Day: Minorities question government on human rights abuses

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On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day 2016, Pakistani social group Rwadari Tehreek, Civil Society and men and women from all walks of life called upon the government to take efficacious steps to ensure human rights are being dispensed to all the citizens irrespective of their cast. Creed, religion or ethnicity.

Human Rights abuses in Pakistan

For this reason, a rally was held outside the Lahore Press Club on December 9. This rally was held under the banner of the Center for Human Rights Education- Pakistan in collaboration with members of the Rwadari Tehreek, Civil Society and other organizations.

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The participants of the rally called for equal human rights for men, women and children belonging to the most marginalized segments of the society such as gypsy community, brick kiln workers, sanitary workers, trans-genders, disable persons, and religious minorities. The participants chanted slogans against discrimination on religious, communal, ethnic, social and various other grounds.

While addressing the participants of the rally, Samson Salamat Director of the Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan said: “International Human Rights Day is a reminder for our Government and the State Institution that the implementation of human rights standards and principles is a key for a better society and therefore human rights should be given a priority to make our society a human rights friendly society where all citizens are treated equally without any discrimination.”

Samson Salamat who also heads the social group Rwadari Tehreek went on to say: “it is very unfortunate that the human rights situation is getting worst day by day which is a matter of grave concern, and the fundamental freedoms including the freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, association and freedom of religion and belief are under threat.

The worst part of the situation is that the space for the civil society is shrinking day by day, which is not a healthy sign for our society because the civil society is an important entity to keep the question of people rights alive. Therefore, we expect that the government shall turn its attention towards this deteriorating situation of human rights and make human rights protection and promotion a priority, especially of those who are frequently deprived of their fundamental rights and freedoms in our country or are working for the protection and promotion of human rights” he added.

At this occasion, Rizwan Gill Advocate, President of Rwadari Tehreek- Lahore said while addressing the participants: “It is the constitutional responsibility of the government and the state institutions to provide equal rights to all the citizens without any discrimination of cast, color, creed, social status or any other recognition. Therefore the government and the state institutions are duty-bound to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities and end all forms of discriminations from the society and ensure equal treatment, especially with the persons belonging to the religious minorities who are frequently attacked and persecuted.”

Some of the other participants of the rally included Reverend Emmanuel S. Khokhar (Senior Pastor Church of Pakistan), Mr. Abdullah Malik (President Rwadari Tehreek), Ms. Sabira Asmat (President Rwadari Tehreek Punjab), Ms. Komal Patras (Member Central Executive Committee Rwadari Tehreek), Iqra Baig Advocate, Pandit Bhaghat Lal Khokhar of Hindi Community, Rukhsana Liaqat and Neeli Rana of Trans genders Community.