In 2020, the Pakistani government persecuted human rights advocates, attorneys, and journalists who criticised its leaders and policies. Authorities used draconian sedition and counterterrorism laws to stifle dissent, and strictly regulated civil society groups and organizations critical of government actions or policies.
While authorities frequently fall short of offering sufficient protection or holding offenders accountable, violence, discrimination, and persecution against women, religious minorities, and transgender persons persisted. Even as fresh charges of extrajudicial murders and torture emerged, the government did not punish law enforcement organisations responsible for significant abuses. Many people were killed in attacks by Islamist militants against law enforcement officers and religious minorities. Members and sympathisers of opposing political groups faced harsh punishment from the Pakistani government. A number of opposition leaders, including previous heads of state and cabinet members, are still being investigated for allegedly engaging in political corruption.