On August 5, 2014 yet another unpunished attack on the Pakistani Shia community occurred. According to the Ahlul Bayt News Agency Ashraf Hussain 50, and Hameed Hussain 35 were shot and killed outside of a barbershop in Karachi. The assailants who are believed to be members of the Taliban-affiliated group Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jamaat (ASWJ) arrived at the barbershop and opened fire, killing both of the men at the scene. This is the second such loss for the Hussain family who lost another relative to similar violence just a few days ago.
This violence is concerning for the international community, as it sets a dangerous precedent for the protection of religious minorities throughout the world. This United States has not placed Pakistan on its list of countries of particular concern in regards to religious freedom. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom wrote in their annual report “The previous and current Pakistani government failed to intervene effectively against a spike in violence targeting the Shia minority community, as well as violence against Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadis”. What the USCIRF states here has been manifested in this latest attack and is a violation of the religious freedoms outlined in Articles 3, 18, and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Shia Rights Watch, a Washington, D.C. based advocacy organization for the protection of Shia Muslims throughout the world condemns the actions taken by these assailants, as well as the inaction of the Pakistani government. Shia Rights Watch calls on the Pakistani government to put a stop to the continuous murder of Shia civilians.