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Thursday 17 April 2014

Video: Teenager hands over Malala petition

Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan

A schoolboy has presented a petition in support of injured Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai on a global day of action for girls' education.

David Crone, 17, handed in the document calling for every child to have the right to go to school, to the Pakistan High Commission in London as part of a drive led by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Youth representatives worldwide are handing in the "I am Malala" petition, which has already attracted more than one million signatures.

Saturday, which has been labelled "Malala and the 32 million girls day", marks exactly one month since the 15-year-old girls' education campaigner was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she travelled home from school with two classmates in north-west Pakistan.

David, a UN and Plan UK youth representative from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, handed the petition to a member of staff at the commission building in Knightsbridge.

Speaking afterwards he said Malala was an inspirational figure and that what she is fighting for was worth supporting.

"We are here because we are standing in solidarity and partnership with Malala in search of education for all children," he said. "We think this is an extremely important opportunity to make sure that Pakistan recognises the importance of getting these people into education. Malala has shown incredible courage in her push for girls' education in Pakistan. We honour what she has done to try to improve her community and her country."

Malala, who was attacked after promoting the education of girls and criticising Taliban militants, is recovering in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after being brought to the UK for treatment a week after the shooting. Doctors at the hospital have said the bullet which struck the teenager just above her left eye had grazed the edge of her brain.

She has since received thousands of goodwill messages and the public are being encouraged to show their support for this day of action by using social networking sites to post messages.

Mr Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, has presented a petition to Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari on a visit to the country, along with one million signatures from Pakistan demanding free and compulsory education. He said: "I believe that in Pakistan, the silent majority is speaking and that there is now a national consensus that the country can delay no longer in ensuring girls and boys have schools to go to and teachers to teach them."

Press Association

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