US lawmakers have asked Pakistan to bring Malala Yousafzai’s attackers to justice, weeks after reports revealed eight of the 10 militants jailed for life over the attack on her have been freed.
“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, according to the Economic Times.
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 the letter dated June 29, the senators said, “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.”
“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 responsible for this heinous act,” the senators added.
“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,” the senators wrote, adding that these reports raise significant concerns about the transparency and the accountability of the country’s judicial system.
Further, the senators said, “As such, we respectfully request that the Pakistani judicial system provide an honest and transparent accounting of the events surrounding the cases against these 10 individuals and continue its important work to bring all those responsible for the brutal attack against an innocent teenage girl to justice
However, earlier this month, security officials denied claims that Malala’s attackers were released as part of a deal and upheld the court cleared eight of the attackers and only two sent down for their part in the bid to silence education campaigner Malala, who last year became the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner.
“It was the court’s decision to frame charges against two of the 10 accused and release eight others,” security officials had said.
Malala Yousafzai, a student and education activist, was shot and critically injured in a TTP-orchestrated attack in October 2012. The teenager was on her way back home from school when gunmen apprehended the bus and boarded it before calling her out by name and opening fire.
This article originally appeared on the Economic Times.