SRSG Zerrougui strongly condemns the targeted shooting of Pakistani schoolgirls by the Taliban

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, October 9, 2012

New York, 9 October 2012 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict condemns in the harshest terms the targeted attack by Taliban gunmen on Pakistani schoolgirls in the Swat Valley, northwest of Islamabad.

A spokesperson of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, seriously wounding a 14-year-old girl known for speaking out against the forced closure of girls’ schools by the TTP in the Swat Valley. The girl was shot and wounded by Taliban gunmen, together with two other school girls, in the school bus in front of her school. Malala Yousufzai was known as a child activist and strong voice on girls’ education, and received the highest civilian award of the Pakistan Government in 2011. She continues to receive numerous threats to her live from the TTP.

The Special Representative wishes the three girls a swift and full recovery and would like to express her support to the families and communities of the victims. “Education is a fundamental right for all children”, Special Representative Leila Zerrougui said. “The TTP must respect the right to education of all children, including girls, to go to school and live in peace.”