Washington, June 30: Two top US lawmakers have expressed deep concern over the acquittal of eight of the 10 men jailed for attack on Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, and asked Pakistan to bring the attackers to justice.
Malala Yousafzai, 17, a Pakistani activist for girls’ education, is the youngest recipient of Nobel Prize.
In a letter, dated June 29, to Pakistan Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani, Senators Marco Rubio and Barbara Boxer said: “We urge the government of Pakistan to re-double its efforts in a transparent and public manner to bring those responsible for this brutal attack to justice.”
Senators Marco Rubio and Barbara Boxer said in a letter to Pakistan Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani.
The senators wrote: “This past April, Pakistani officials announced that after a secret trial, all 10 suspects were found guilty for their roles in the attack against Malala and received 25 year prison sentences.”
They said: “Although we have serious concerns about the trial’s lack of transparency and general absence of information regarding the cases against these 10 individuals, we were encouraged to hear that the Pakistani judicial system was actively working to hold those responsible for this heinous act.”
The senators further wrote: “That is why we are particularly alarmed by recent media reports that eight of the 10 convicted were actually acquitted of these charges against them,” adding that these reports raise significant concerns about the transparency and the accountability of the Pakistani judicial system.
Rubio and Boxer are respectively the chairman and ranking member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.
In 2012, Talibani terrorists shot Malala in the head. The attempted assassination had sparked national and international support for Malala and girls’ education advocacy.
(With Agency Inputs)