In Baluchistan, the largest and poorest province in Pakistan, hit by insurgencies and severe military repression, lawyers are regularly targeted in targeted killings or assaults, but the events of 8 August 2016 are unprecedented in the tragic history of the Pakistani bar. Early in the morning, Bilal Anwar Kasi, 46, president of the Balochistan Bar Association (BBA), was shot dead on the street in Quetta as he was going to the courthouse. Spontaneously, all the lawyers in mourning went to the hospital to gather in front of the emergency department where lay the body of the president, riddled with gunshot wounds, to express his pain.

It was then that a suicide bomber slipped among the lawyers in front of the Quetta Civil Hospital and blew up the explosive charge he carried on him in the middle of the crowds who had come to seek justice. Between 54 and 63 lawyers were reportedly killed. In total, 150 of Balochistan's 300 lawyers were killed or wounded in the August 8 attack in Quetta.

On the occasion of the awarding of the Ludovic Trarieux Prize, which will take place in Venice on November 10th, Thierry Bontinck, as administrator of the Institute of Human Rights of European Lawyers, will take the floor to pay tribute to this bar and to these members for their sufferings in the service of the human rights.