On 2 February
2010, Parvez Aslam Choudhry received a threatening phone call in which
the caller said that his office and home would be blown up. It is believed that this threat is related to his work on the case of Qamar
David, a Christian who is
currently on trial for charges of blasphemy. The case is now reaching a critical point, with “final
arguments” scheduled to be
heard on 9 February
On 1 February
2010, Parvez Aslam Choudhry was the subject of intimidation by a mob of people that attended the latest hearing in the case
of Qamar David. The mob declared
that they would see Parvez Aslam Choudhry just before the hearing on 9 February 2010 and “perform their religious duty to kill blasphemers and supporters”.
Biography : Parvez Aslam Choudhry,
is the chairman of a Lahore-based legal group : the NGO "Legal Aid
for Destitute and Settlement" (LADS), which provides legal
assistance to impoverished detainees and works against discriminatory
laws in Pakistan, Parvez Aslam
Choudhry is a Member High Court Bar Association
and Member Lahore Bar Association in Pakistan, and former president
Christian Lawyers Association Pakistan (CLAP).
Parvez Aslam Choudhry has defended
many blasphemy accused in the High Court Pakistan, both Muslim and
non-Muslim, and has been attacked on several occasions. He has been in
danger before because of his work against the blasphemy laws. In 2003 he
was assaulted while defending a blasphemy case. He filed a complaint with
the police, but says they took no action. He received frequent death
threats while defending blasphemy case against one Younis
Masih, a Christian who was allegedly charged
with flinging a burning matchstick on November 12, 2005 in the Quran Mahal, a Islamic school
situated in the Sangla Hill stadium which
caught fire and is at risk of being sentenced to death.
the trial of Younis Masih
began, he has been threatened outside the court and has also received
anonymous telephone death threats, warning him that his life will be in
danger if he continues to represent Younis Masih. Members of his family have also received
threats during the trial of Younis Masih.
Younis Masih is alleged to have made derogatory remarks
about the Prophet Mohammed at a religious service held at a house near
his own on 9 September 2005, in the Chunngi Amar Sadu area of Lahore.
He denies this, and a local newspaper quoted his wife as saying that he
was attacked after he went to the house at around midnight and asked the
people inside not to sing so loudly, as he was in mourning for his
nephew, who had recently died. According to the local press, the next day
local Muslims looted a number of Christian homes, and witnesses said that
the police did not intervene.
Muslim cleric who had led the service filed a complaint against Younis Masih accusing him
of offences under Section 295C of the Pakistan penal code, which deals
with blasphemy. According to his lawyer he is not facing any other
charges. He was arrested on 11 September and taken to Kot
Lakhpat jail, in Lahore, where he is still
held. A first bail petition was rejected by the session's court in Lahore
in November and a second petition is now pending in the Lahore High
denied involvement in the desecration of the Quran, regarded by Muslims
as a holy book of Islam.
Parvez Aslam Choudhry has received
numerous anonymous telephone calls, and has been physically assaulted
outside the court. On 26 January 2006on his way to the jail where he
hoped to visit Younis Masih,
a van drove into his car causing him minor injuries. Some of the men in
the van got out and began to attack him as he sat in the car, but got
back in the van and drove off when friends of Parvez
On 11 May 2006, unknown assailants
deliberately rammed their car into Parvez Aslam Choudhry’s car, which then was pushed off the road and fell
forty feet. One passenger, lawyer Rana Javed Rafiq, died instantly. Parvez Aslam Choudhry and his colleague Ijaz Victor were hospitalized for a number of days after the incident. On two
occasions in February and July 2006, Parvez Aslam Choudhry was threatened at gun point by Muslim men who warned that his life was in danger if he continued to represent blasphemy cases.
April 2008, before the hearing in a blasphemy case in the court, Parvez Aslam
Choudhry was attacked by a large mob when he
arrived at court for the bail hearing. The miror of the car was broken and car was damged also and the mob threatened to kill him.
On 8 April 2008, he received an anonymous telephone call threatening both
him and his family. He was reportedly told he was to be killed because he
was a Christian lawyer defending a Christian person accused of blasphemy.
Similar threats were also made against him inside the court by witnesses.
On 25 April 2008, the car in which Parvez Aslam Choudhry, Aslam Masih, Ijaz Victor and Mubarak Masih were travelling was hit from behind and from the
right-hand side by a red
van. The back windscreen was
broken, the bumper was damaged and there were minor injuries to all passengers.
On 12 november 2008 after
accepting the appeal
of medi Hassann Parvez Aslam Choudhry received three life threats calls from unknown callers. Later on 13 November 2008 and then 14 November 2008, callers continously said that Parvez Aslam Choudhry was a blasphemr and now he ans his family will be kill.
On 11 March 2009, police officers arrived at the house of Parvez Aslam Choudhry, in Youhanabad in Lahore. The police informed
her that Section 144 had been imposed in several cities of Punjab, effective for 3 days
from 11 March, banning
any form of protest march or gathering of people. On 12 March 2009 lawyers from across Pakistan began a demonstration – "the lawyers’
long march"- which
is due to culminate
in a sit-in outside the Parliament
on 16 March. Parvez Aslam
Choudhry has chosen
not to return to his home while
these restrictions are in place for fear that he will be
2003, Parvez Aslam Choudhry has been awarded the Bishop John Joseph
Award by Pakistan Minorities Front for his outstanding work in defending
the rights of minorities at considerable personal risk.
Background Information :
comprise less than 3 percent of Pakistan's over 162-million mainly Muslim
people, experts say. (With BosNewsLife Research
and reports from Pakistan).Lawyers defending people accused of blasphemy
in Pakistan are facing growing threats to their lives. Death threats and
physical assault have become a regular occurrence for some lawyers,
despite the widespread misuse of the blasphemy laws. Those accused of
blasphemy also face similar threats. A human rights organization has
urged Pakistani government to ensure protection of lawyers defending
people accused of blasphemy in the country. It has also called for measures
to ensure that the blasphemy accused are treated as innocent until proven
blasphemy laws of Pakistan, while purporting to protect Islam and the
religious sensitivities of the Muslim majority, are vaguely formulated
and arbitrarily enforced by the police and judiciary in a way which
amounts to harassment and persecution of religious minorities. Many of
those accused or suspected of blasphemy have been assaulted or tortured.
People detained on blasphemy charges in prisons including Kot Lakhpat, where Younis Masih is held, have
been killed by fellow detainees or prison wardens. Others suspected of
blasphemy, but not under arrest, have been unlawfully killed without
police taking any action to protect them. .
action on behalf of Filiz Kalayci.
Copy the enclosed
letter and send it to the address provided.
President Abdullah Gul,
Office of the President,
[your name here]
I do welcome the release of human
rights lawyer Ms Filiz Kalayci, executive board member of the Human Rights Association (IHD), on 28 January,
after eight months in detention.
Howewer I remain concerned
that human rights lawyer, Ms Filiz Kalayci remains charged of 'aiding an illegal
organisation' – the Kurdistan Workers' Party
(PKK) and the trial will resume on 10 June 2010.
I remain also
reports that during
the interrogation she was
asked why IHD
organises activities and issues press releases on prison conditions and human rights violations in
prisons, confirming the concern
that she was targeted as a result of her legitimate work in defence of human rights.
I believe that the
charges against Filiz
Kalayci represent a retaliation for her human rights work, in particular in denouncing the conditions of detention
in Turkish prisons.
So I want to urge the Turkish
- Drop all charges against Filiz Kalayci, as she is being held solely as a result of her legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights
- Put an end to all
acts harassment, including at the judicial level, against Ms. Filiz Kalayci, as well as
Messrs. Hasan Anlar, Halil İbrahim Vargün and Murat Vargün and
guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity
of all human rights defenders in Turkey;
- Comply with the
provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, especially
its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually
and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the
protection and realisation of human rights and
fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well
as Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary
measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of
everyone, individually and in association with others, against any
violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse
discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence
of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the
- More generally,
ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms in accordance with international and regional human rights
instruments ratified by Turkey.