Barristers step in over death threats to Asia Bibi's lawyer
In response to reports that Asia Bibi’s lawyer, Saif Ul Malook, has received death threats and been granted temporary asylum in the Netherlands, legal leaders in England and Wales have made the following statements.
Andrew Walker QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said:
“No lawyer, in any jurisdiction, should fear intimidation or violence for doing their job. When a lawyer feels at risk for representing a client, the client’s right to access to justice and a fair trial is denied and the rule of law itself is threatened. It is the duty of every government to ensure the safety of its lawyers.”
Kirsty Brimelow QC, Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee said :
“Pakistan has an international legal duty to protect its lawyers. The UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers underline the Government’s duty to ensure that lawyers be able to perform their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference. We look to Pakistan to publicly support Saif Ul Malook and to implement measures to enable his return to his home and country.”