8 June 2012
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has expressed serious concern over the credible and extremely worrying reports of death threats directed at Asma Jahangir, whom he personally appointed to the former Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group in light of her integrity, professional expertise, global standing and the valuable perspectives she could contribute.
The Secretary-General has received messages of concern from various Commonwealth parties including the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and more recently from other distinguished members of the former Eminent Persons Group. He shares profoundly their disquiet and concern. He has also taken careful note of the observations by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Mr Sharma and his office have been in contact with Asma Jahangir for several days, and the Secretary-General was pleased to have a direct conversation with her. He has also been in contact with the Chair of Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group as well as the Pakistan authorities. He is reassured that Ms Jahangir is now being provided with security, which she considers adequate in the circumstances.
Secretary-General Sharma is hopeful that there will be a thorough and published investigation of the situation, giving rise to the need to strengthen security for Asma Jahangir.
Further steps are being considered that may be warranted from a Commonwealth perspective. Meanwhile, the Secretary-General also takes this opportunity to convey his deepest condolences on behalf of the Commonwealth to the families and loved ones of the more than 30 Pakistan civilians killed in the last two days of terrorist attacks. He expresses his wishes for the speediest and fullest possible recovery for those injured in these dreadful attacks.
Contact: Richard Uku, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Commonwealth Secretariat, tel. +44 (0)7747 6380, email: email@example.com