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June 13, 2012

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Plot to kill Pakistani
human rights activist
must be taken seriously


Dear Friends  


Thank you for your continued prayers for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan.  We continue to receive challenging reports of continued blasphemy cases and persecution on an all too regular basis.


Below is a statement of the Religious Liberty Commission of the WEA regarding Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir, and a plot to kill her.  As you know Advocates International serves as General Counsel to the RLC, and I am also a Commissioner. 

Thanks again for your prayers.


May the Lord bless and keep you in His perfect. . .


Grace and Peace,

Brent Sig
Brent McBurney









For Immediate Release, June 12, 2012


Plot to Kill Asma Jahangir Must be Taken Seriously


Pakistan's human rights activist Asma Jahangir, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, has courageously spoken for religious minorities around the world. Now, her own life is under threat. She revealed at a recent press conference in Lahore that the country's intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence or ISI, had planned and ordered her assassination.


"The threat to Jahangir's life is being attributed to her public criticism of and cases against Pakistani military's actions and security establishment, but a lot more is at stake in the plot to assassinate her," said WEA-RLC Executive Director the Rev. Godfrey Yogarajah.


State and non-state actors in Pakistan have sought to silence the voice for democracy and civil rights in the country by assassinating advocates. Such threats and actions create an atmosphere of fear for those who believe in moderation and individual rights.


Jahangir has also said, "This is not on a matter of my safety but a much larger issue - individual's right to raise their voice," as quoted by The Express Tribune.


Just last year, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer and Pakistan's first Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti were killed. Both had received death threats for speaking against the country's notorious blasphemy laws, and yet the government didn't protect them wholeheartedly.


The threat to the life of Jahangir, who co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and is president of bar, "should be taken even more seriously given that state actors are allegedly behind it," Yogarajah said.


Since 1977, when General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq captured power by a coup and Islamized the country, there have been sustained efforts to take Pakistan away from the vision of the country's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah to create a nation where rule of law prevails and religious minorities are protected.


Jahangir, who is helping the country to return to its foundational principles, is no stranger to threats. She defended an underage Christian boy, Salamat Masih, who was accused of blasphemy, and won the case in 1995. Extremist forces attacked her car and assaulted her outside the High Court. She has also been taken hostage, had her home broken into, and received death threats for fighting for justice.


WEA-RLC urges the government of Pakistan to form a judicial commission to investigate the threat to Jahangir's life and give her the highest level of security, Yogarajah said.




For further information please contact Godfrey Yogarajah, Executive Director, at, or visit


The Religious Liberty Commission is monitoring the religious liberty situation in more than 100 nations, defending persecuted Christians, informing the global church, challenging the Church to pray ( and giving all possible assistance to those who are suffering. The Commission also makes fact finding trips and meets with governments and ambassadors speaking up for the suffering brothers and sisters. At the United Nations the Commission reports about the situation and arranges special hearings with Christians from countries under pressure.

Calling all Advocates
           We are always looking to identify, train, equip, enable  and mobilize advocates,like you, all over the world who are inspired by our core values and want to protect and defend religious freedom, the rule of law, the right to life, peace and reconciliation, human rights and justice for the poor. 

           You can join with us by going to our web site and signing on!  Thanks.

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