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Khurram Zaki

Khurram Zaki

HRD, editor
Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP)

Khurram Zaki was a human rights defender, journalist and editor at Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP), an online news portal established to promote an inclusive and democratic Pakistan, and to support freedom of religion. Khurram Zaki campaigned for the rights of religious minorities and peace among religious groups in Pakistan including on social media where he campaigned against sectarian violence. Two unknown assailants shot him dead on the evening of 7 May 2016, outside a hotel in the southern city of Karachi. In the weeks before he was killed, there had been online campaigns against Khurram Zaki and LUBP. The fact that the human rights defender was reaching an increasingly wider audience across ethnic, sectarian and religious divides in Pakistan seemed to generate the opposition of extremist groups whose hate and violence he exposed.

Pakistan is one of the most challenging countries in the region for human rights defenders, who face high risks including killing, arbitrary arrest and detention, abduction and kidnapping, surveillance, threats and judicial harassment. Many HRDs have had their offices attacked or burnt down and their colleagues killed.