Vigil held for shot schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai - Home News - UK - The Independent

Vigil held for shot schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai

 

Women's rights campaigners have staged a candlelit vigil in support of the 14-year-old schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan.

Around 20 well-wishers gathered in Birmingham's Victoria Square to show their support for Malala Yousafzai, who remains in a stable condition at the city's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Officials at the hospital have declined to comment on reports that the teenager has been able to move her limbs, but have confirmed that her family members remain in Pakistan.

A brief statement issued by the hospital read: "Malala Yousafzai's condition remains stable.

"She spent a third comfortable night in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and doctors are pleased with her progress so far.

"The various specialist consultants from both the Queen Elizabeth and Birmingham Children's hospitals continue to assess her on a daily basis."

The vigil for Malala, attended by members of Birmingham City Council, was organised by Women2Gether and the Amina Women's Group, which both work to empower women.

Many of those present at the vigil held candles, while others held banners proclaiming "I am Malala" in solidarity with the injured teenager, who was shot as she made her way home from school in north-west Pakistan.

Labour councillor Mariam Khan, who represents the Washwood Heath area of Birmingham, said she had decided to attend the vigil in a personal capacity and on behalf of her community.

Ms Khan told reporters: "Everybody should have the right to freedom and we are standing in solidarity with Malala.

"Education is one of the key things that takes people forward. I went to school and I went to university and to think that there are people fighting just to go to school puts things into perspective."

During the vigil, a statement was read out by a member of the Amina Women's Group, who declined to give her name.

The statement began: "Brave Malala said what so many of us wish to say but we are too afraid.

"A girl of 14 spoke out for the rights of women and girls in a region where fundamentalism is fighting to take hold.

"For this she was shot in the head. Like so many around the world, we are moved and inspired by her bravery and wish her and her friends a speedy recovery."

Malala was flown to the UK on Monday after being attacked for promoting the education of girls and criticising Taliban militants.

More than 600 people from around the world have posted messages of support for the schoolgirl on the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust website.

Doctors at the hospital, which has a decade's experience of treating British military casualties, are now planning the reconstructive operations needed to treat her injuries.

The teenager was shot with two classmates as they made their way home from school in Swat, in the north-west of Pakistan, in what Foreign Secretary William Hague described as a "barbaric attack".

Malala was saved by neurosurgeons at a Pakistani military hospital and has since been in intensive care.

PA

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

Project Manager (upgrades, rollouts, migrations)

£350 - £425 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project Manager - 3 mont...

IT Administrator - Graduate

£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

Year 3/4 Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Year 3/4 Teacher - Daily Suppl...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week