December 5th, 2021
By Rehan Piracha
Several civil society organisations on Saturday, December 4, held a protest demonstration at Liberty Chowk to condemn the mob lynching of a Sri Lankan national in Sialkot.
Citizens and representatives from the Joint Action Committee for People’s Rights (JAC), Haqook-e-Khalq movement (HKM), Progressive Students Collective, Aurat March, Women Action Forum, Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC), and other human rights movements participated in the demonstration.
Participants held placards and shouted slogans to condemn the rising tide of extremism in Pakistan. “Terrorism in the name of religion is unacceptable,” participants said in one of their slogans to express solidarity with the family of the Sri Lankan national killed by a mob outside his factory in Sialkot on December 3.
The protesters said the symbolic demonstration showed people’s united stance against the lynching by a religiously charged crowd. Women and children in the demonstration carried placards with them inscribed with words Sorry Sri Lanka to express their anguish at the brutal killing.
“Words are not enough. We must rise against religious extremism destroying our country,” said Ammar Ali Jan, a member of HKM, said in his tweet. He thanked the citizens of Lahore for responding to the protest call. “We cannot let barbarians force us into silence. We will continue to raise our voice against religious fanaticism,” he added.
Hina Jilani, chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Farooq Tariq from HKM, and Bushra Khaliq from WISE were some of the prominent human rights defenders attending the demonstration.