Petition for the Pakistani government

Petition For The Government of Pakistan and Imran Khan The Prime Minister of Pakistan

#ShiaGenocide Alert: Massacre of Shia Muslim Hazara Coal Miners in Mach, Balochistan

We, the undersigned, write to express our grave concern over the brutal execution of Hazara Shia Muslim coal miners in Mach, Balochistan, a region of Pakistan where the Security Establishment holds sway. Unfortunately this recent act of terrorism is not new, but rather forms a pattern of persecution and abuse that must be stopped.

The routine massacre of Hazara and Shia Muslims in Pakistan has taken place for decades. In the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) 2018 report, Justice (R) Ali Nawaz Chowhan, Chairman of the NCHR writes “Hazaras have consistently been targeted...since 1999 through suicide bombings and targeted killings, with more than 2,000 having reportedly been killed in the last 14 years. [2003-2017]”[1]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also documented first-hand accounts highlighting the anti-Hazara sentiment and the intent to kill Shia Muslims in its June 2014 report, We are the Walking Dead: Killing of Hazara Shias in Balochistan. The report also includes a copy of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s (LeJ) Public Threat to the Hazara & Shia Muslim Community that starts with “All Shias are liable to be killed. We will rid Pakistan of [this] impure people.”[2] Despite this, HRW further reports, “virtually all members of the LeJ leadership operate with impunity, continuing to play leadership roles even when in custody awaiting trial.” In fact, over the years groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tehreek-e-Talibaan, Daesh (Islamic State) and Sipah-e-Sahabah and their various affiliates have publicly boasted about their roles in Shia Muslim killings with virtually no consequences. These same groups have also engaged in acts of violence against Sunni, Sufi, Ahmadiya, Christian, Sikh and Hindu communities across Pakistan.

According to the Constitution of Pakistan as well as International Conventions ratified by Pakistan including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Government of Pakistan has a duty to protect all of its citizens—regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation, and guarantee the right of freedom of faith and belief to every citizen without any discrimination.

Unfortunately, the security apparatus and Government of Pakistan has failed miserably in providing safety and essential freedoms to targeted groups like Shia Muslims, especially the Hazara Shia Muslims in Balochistan, giving the appearance that, contrary to Pakistan’s obligations in its Constitution and ratified Human Rights treaties, the Government is either unwilling or unable to protect the Hazara, Shia Muslims and other vulnerable communities against these destabilizing forces in Pakistan.

Given this, we, the undersigned, call on the Government of Pakistan to:

· secure the Hazara and Shia Muslim communities, investigate and prosecute those responsible for these attacks, as well as, those responsible for spreading hate and inciting this violence, including from within state officials.

· uproot the networks, disband, disarm, and hold accountable groups implicated in these serious human rights abuses like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tehreek-e-Talibaan, Daesh (ISIS) and Sipah-e-Sahabah.

· provide, in addition to the basic financial compensation already promised, additional funds for the education expenses, family expenditures, and treatment expenses of the victims and their families including for their mental health.

We also call on Prime Minister Imran Khan to publicly issue an apology for the manner of his refusal to visit the surviving families and community before the burial of the miners. The Prime Minister’s insensitive response to their heartfelt requests to witness their loss only served to further rub salt in the wounds of the families and community in mourning.

In solidarity with the Hazara and Shia Muslim communities,

American Muslim Bar Association (AMBA)

Solidarity for Shia Rights (SFSR)

Imamia Medics International (IMI)

[1] See Understanding the Agonies of Ethnic Hazaras, National Commission on Human Rights Pakistan, February 2018 (available at https://nchr.gov.pk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/HAZARA-REPORT.pdf) (last accessed January 20, 2021). [2] See We are the Walking Dead: Killing of Hazara Shias in Balochistan, Human Rights Watch, page 4, June 2014 (available at https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/06/29/we-are-walking-dead/killings-shia-hazara-balochistan-pakistan)(last accessed January 20, 2021).