South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and the Aas Foundation organized a reference on Wednesday to remember human rights lawyer Rashid Rahman, who was shot dead in his office for defending an alleged Blasphemy accused, through a united resolution which called for nominating three lawyers in his murder case and for implicating other officials as well who supported the suspected murderers.
The resolution said, “Advocates Zulfiqar Ali Siddhu, Sajad Chawan and Ayub Mughal be tried under murder charges,” adding that the three lawyers had intimidated Rahman inside the courtroom on jail premises and in front of the judge.
Rights activist, Tahira Abdullah told that Rahman defended hundreds of human rights cases. She said that time had come to define blasphemy. She told that 7,000 lawyers were working in Multan but that the widow of Rashid Rahman was not getting a single lawyer to fight for his murder case.
She added that pamphlets were given out not to attend Rahman’s funeral or support his case. She further said that we were succumbing to Wahabi-Salafi obscurantism.
Sarwar Bari, National Coordinator, Pattan Development Foundation, also said that Rashid Rahman firmly supported human rights matters and did not join bar politics to maintain his human rights stance.
He told that we have to challenge and confront the conservative agenda and puncture the balloon of intolerance. He added first blaming and then killing a person, who himself did not commit blasphemy, never happened previously. He said that we together should launch a movement for Rashid Rahman’s case.
Dr Farzana Bari, Director Gender Studies at the Quaid-i-Azam University, stated that we would have to interlock all types of bodies organizing human rights movements, as joint action was the only choice left with us for our survival.