The ICJ condemns the attempted assassination of Justice Baqar Maqbool, a judge of the Sindh High Court, who also sits on the anti-terrorism court in Karachi, Pakistan.
A bomb blast injured Justice Maqbool and thirteen others and killed at least nine people.
“This is the second bombing targeting the Pakistani judiciary in under six months. The ICJ is extremely concerned that these attacks signal a renewed challenge to the ability of the Pakistani judiciary to function as an independent institution,” said Sheila Varadan, ICJ’s South Asia Legal Advisor.
According to local media sources, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an armed group operating in northwestern Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for the bombing, admitting that it specifically targeted Justice Maqbool for his ‘anti-shariah’ judgments and ‘ruling against the mujahideen’.
The ICJ strongly condemns today’s suicide attack on the Peshawar court complex in Pakistan.
“An independent judiciary, free from violence, threats of violence or intimidation is a basic precondition to a functioning democracy under the rule of law,” said Alex Conte, Director of ICJ’s International Law and Protection Programmes.
“The suicide attack drives home the failure of the Pakistani government to fulfill its obligation to protect the right to personal security of the millions of people living in northwest Pakistan who have to face the daily threat of suicide bombings or unlawful killings,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Asia & Pacific Regional Director.
Under the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of Judges, the State must take steps to protect the judiciary from threats, violence or any other interference from any quarter for any reason.