AIJA has joined an international coalition of 32 law organisations and bar associations in recognising the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, which is commemorated on the 24 January every year.
On 24 January 1977 four trade union lawyers and an employee were murdered in their Madrid office for simply doing their job. In 2010 the Day of the Endangered Lawyer was established to remember those killed in these abhorrent attacks, and raise awareness of lawyers around the world whom are harassed, threatened, tortured and murdered for their work.
In recent years the Day of the Endangered lawyer has focused on the threats lawyers face in Egypt, Turkey and China. This year, the day is highlighting the challenges lawyers in Pakistan face. Pakistani lawyers have been subjected to acts of judicial harassment, murder and mass terrorism for carrying out their professional duties. The most notorious attack took place on 8 August 2016 when terrorists attacked the Government hospital of Quetta, resulting in the deaths of 56 lawyers. The Human Rights Institute of the Bar of Bordeaux has created a video illustrating the horrific attacks on lawyers in Pakistan as part of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, you can watch it here.
A struggle to protect the lawyers from Pakistan - Petition
AIJA with its international partners has signed a petition to the The Pakistani Government, calling on the government to ensure that lawyers are free to carry out their professional duties in safety and without fear of reprisals or attacks as required by the UN Basic Principles on the role of lawyers, amongst other vital measures. The petition is available in several languages: English, French and Spanish.
To learn more about the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, visit the website here.
To find out more about the status of lawyers in Pakistan, read the report here.