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Shia Activist Working For Recovery Of Missing Persons Booked On Terrorism Charges

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Shia activist Rashid Rizvi who has been actively working for recovery of missing persons belonging to the Shia community has been booked by Sindh police under anti-terrorism act (ATA).

Earlier, several blasphemy cases were registered against Shia scholars and activists for allegedly insulting companions of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). On September 5, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) issued a statement saying that it is ‘gravely concerned’ at the recent surge in blasphemy cases being registered against sectarian and religious minorities, particularly the Shia community, and the potential for ensuing sectarian violence. Anecdotal evidence suggests that over 40 such cases may have been registered under the blasphemy laws in the last month alone.

“HRCP believes that the state has effectively abdicated its responsibilities under international human rights law by leaving those accused of blasphemy at the mercy of mobs, or trials that are marred by glaring legal and procedural flaws. It is well established that in most cases, those accused of blasphemy are eventually acquitted on appeal, but often after protracted periods in custody and trials that risk the lives of the accused, their lawyers and judges at the hands of organised far-right groups,” the statement read.

Various observers and activists have said that the crackdown on Shia citizens is part of a fresh wave of sectarianism targeting the community.

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Naya Daur