Pakistani Human Rights Activist Sabeen Mahmud Shot Dead in Karachi

April 27th, 2015 - by admin

Al Jazeera America & Reuters – 2015-04-27 00:34:34

(April 24, 2015) — Sabeen Mahmud was a human rights activist and the owner of a coffee shop and performance space in Karachi, Pakistan, designed to bring people together — for music, dance, art exhibitions and dialog, sometimes over divisive issues. On April 24, Mahmud, 40, was fatally gunned down as she left T2F (The Second Floor) following a panel discussion titled.

Pakistani Human Rights Activist Shot Dead in Karachi
Al Jazeera America

KARACHI, Pakistan (April 24, 2015) — Gunmen shot dead a Pakistani human rights activist on Friday after she hosted a talk on the politics of Baluchistan province, where security forces are fighting a separatist insurgency, police and associates said.

Sabeen Mahmud was leaving her Karachi bookstore and cafe, The Second Floor — which also holds exhibitions and talks — when gunman attacked her in her car. Her mother, who was with her, was wounded, police said.

“Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot her. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead,” senior police official Tariq Dharejo said, adding police were investigating the killing.

Mahmud had just hosted a seminar called “Unsilencing Baluchistan,” focusing on the disappearance of political activists in the southwestern province. The talk was originally due to be held early this month at a university in Lahore but authorities blocked it, media reported at the time.

Rights activists accuse the security forces of carrying out extra-judicial killings of separatists in the province. Hundreds of people have disappeared and later been found dead in recent years. The security forces deny any role in the killings.

Besides her cafe, Mahmud was also known as one of Pakistan’s innovative “hacktivists.” In 2013, she developed a site called “Nafrat Aggregator,” which allowed users to submit hateful messages they discover online in order to shame the perpetrator.

In the hours since her death, an outpouring of support for Mahmud on social media has sent the hashtag #RIPSabeen trending.

“#SabeenMahmud was a true hero, brave/fearless and had convictions. Pakistan is poorer without her,” tweeted Pakistani journalist Murtaza Ali Shah.

‘Your Hate Speech Has Witnesses’
Al Jazeera America

(August 12, 2013) — A new website from Pakistan is on a mission to name and shame those who post hateful messages online. “Nafrat Aggregrator ” (using the word for “hatred” in Urdu) has dedicated sections for rape jokes, religious intolerance, misogyny, bullying and homophobia. Users are invited to report examples of each by providing screenshots and short descriptions explaining the context.

Other sites, such as the Public Shaming Tumblr and , also try to counter hate speech by collecting and publishing offensive comments.

After its launch, Nafrat Aggregator received praise from Pakistanis on Twitter:

Furhan Hussain @FurhanHussain

Does online hatespeech concern you? Report online #hatespeech to the ; an excellent initiative. #NetFreedom

The site’s developer, Karachi-based activist Sabeen Mahmud, explained her motivations over Twitter.

Sabeen Mahmud @sabeen

@DanMing Having aggregated content will also, hopefully help us, as a society, to advocate for cybercrime legislation @AJStream

Sabeen Mahmud @sabeen

@DanMing Having aggregated content will also, hopefully help us, as a society, to advocate for cybercrime legislation @AJStream

Sabeen Mahmud @sabeen

@DanMing Words like rape and faggot are used so carelessly. Wanted to highlight that it’s NOT OK @AJStream

What do you think? Is public shaming an effective way to counter online hate speech?

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