This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary Speech on recent prosecutions in Pakistan

Marietje Marietje Schaake - Mr President, the use of blasphemy laws in Pakistan is disturbing and not in line with what we believe are universal human rights. Minorities and apostates specifically suffer from the application of these laws and the very high sentences that go along with them. Blasphemy laws hinder free expression to such an extent that the country has been requested by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms to repeal them. Additionally, hundreds of so-called honour killings were reported in 2013 alone. We cannot consider the human rights abuses in a vacuum. The EU has recently granted GSP+ status to Pakistan, subject to the implementation of human rights conventions. So we call on the Pakistani Government to turn the de facto moratorium on the death penalty into a real abolition of the death penalty, to speed up the reform of madrasas and end hate speech in the name of religion. We call on them to stop censorship, specifically of the Internet, and to revise the anti-terrorism, as well as the draft NGO, legislation.