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Political Violence in Pakistan claims life of Green Activist in election campaign

Pakistan Green Party activist, Mr Shahnawaz Panhwer, was killed by unknown people at Dadu, Sindh province on Sunday 28 April 2013. The assassination followed threats by representatives of the outgoing government, and demands that the Greens candidate of Dadu PS-73, Mr. Imtiaz Ali Panhwer, withdraw from the forthcoming national elections.The Global Greens strongly condemn this murder and call upon the Pakistani authorities to begin an immediate investigation into the crime, and to publish their findings. The Global Greens give our deepest sympathy to Mr Panhwer’s family, friends and colleagues.

The Pakistan election will be held on May 11, 2013 and for the first time in the country’s history one civilian government is due to be succeeded by another. This is also the first election seriously contested by small parties, including the Greens.

“These national elections should be a landmark for Pakistan, to show the world that it is a fully functioning democracy” said Steve Emmott, representing the European Green Party in the Global Greens. “We call on the international community to follow up this tragic event by committing to monitoring the electoral process in Pakistan.”

The Asia Pacific Greens Federation is “appalled by the assassination of Mr Panhwer, who was killed by political opponents because he supported the Pakistan Green Party's campaign for a national government that stands for the Green values of nonviolence, respect for diversity, social justice, sustainability, democracy and ecological wisdom”, said Keli Yen, APGN convener. 

Frank Habineza, President of the African Green Federation from Rwanda, recently awarded an honorary Doctoral Degree for his work in promoting democratic reforms and human rights in Rwanda and across Africa, affirms: “we call on the government of Pakistan to hold accountable the perpetrators behind this criminal act, and to ensure elections are fair and free of violence”. 

Margot Soria, representative of the Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas from Bolivia, strongly supports the Global Greens statements and condemns the violence and threats against Greens and all opponents in Pakistan. 

The Green Party of Pakistan has temporarily suspended the campaign but is continuing to contest the election.

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