US urges Pakistan to repeal its blasphemy laws

US urges Pakistan to repeal its blasphemy laws

The United States has recommended that Pakistan repeals its blasphemy law.

At the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held in Geneva, the US also suggested that Pakistan grant the visit request of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

Speaking on Monday US representative Jesse Bernstein further recommended that the country passes an anti-trafficking law that prohibits and penalises all forms of human trafficking.

It was also recommended that Pakistan tracks and reports the investigation and prosecution of security forces who commit human rights violations and abuses.

Pakistan was commended for passing the Hindu Marriage Act, which allows, for the first time, members of the Hindu community to register their marriages.

Agreeing with the matter of Pakistan’s lack of freedom for its religious minorities, the UK, represented by Miriam Shearman, recommended a fully inclusive electoral roll without discrimination or religious bias, and the establishment of an independent National Commission for Minorities from all faith communities, who should appoint their own representatives.

It also said that Pakistan should set a clear timeline for the review of legislation carrying the death penalty.

The UPR recommendations are not binding, but they are important. However Pakistan can accept of refuse any of them.

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