Archive for September, 2011

Statement/Press Release                                                                               Dated: 20/09/2011 Ref: 11/2011

 Statement: 11 years old victim of gang rape, and her family wants justice

RightsNow Pakistan condemns this heinous act of rape in the strongest possible terms and demands a free, fair and impartial inquiry into the matter by the police and immediate arrest of the perpetrators. RightsNow Pakistan has already conducted preliminary inquiry into the matter and a plan of sending a fact finding mission to the place of incident for further investigation. RightsNow Pakistan is in touch with NGOs, local civil society and District Bar Kotri for their strong support and cooperation in this matter. Below is summary of the incident.

According to S (name withheld) the victim, a few months ago, Mr. Gulab Palari and Mr. Pinyal s/o Liyar Palari visited her village, Goth Haji Abdullah Kadhro Daro, Taluka Mirpur Bathoro, District Thatta and invited her family consisting of her father Mr. Ahmed Mallah, Mother, Mst Hujjat Mallah and her two years sister Ms. Farzana to their area Nooriabad, for cultivation of Land at Nooriabad. On this offer, her father Ahmed Mallah decided to move his family to their village Goth Azeem Palari, with its all articles and households (Cots, blankets, sewing machine etc). After moving there, they were surprised to know that there was neither land nor any cultivation there. The whole family was detained by the Yar Mohummad, Gulab, Pinyal and other their other accomplices of Palari family. There, Ms. S was forcibly married with Noor Mohummad Palari s/o of Yar Mohummad Palari, who confined her in his house and committed rape. Afterwards, she was shifted to another house where Yar Mohummad and Noor Mohummad Palari allegedly tortured and raped her. Later, Mr. Riaz s/o Yar Mohummad, Bilwal s/o Muhammad, Pinyal s/o Liyar Palari also took advantage of the situation and raped her.

At one point, Mst. Hujjat, mother of S (name withheld), managed to flee from the confinement and with the support of human rights lawyers filed an application under Section 491 Cr.P.C. before the Court of District and Sessions Judge, Jamshoro at Kotri and then S.H.O. PS Nooriabad conducted raid at the house of accused mentioned above as per order the Honorable Court and recovered the victim Ms. S from there. However, the S.H.O kept her on mere false hopes that he will file the FIR against the accused but he did not lodge FIR because the alleged perpetrators were influential people.

Since then, Ms. S and her family are shuttling between police stations and courts in the search of justice. The family of the victim also told RightsNow that they are also receiving deadly threats. Due to fear, harassment and life threats all family members of Ms. S’s family are running from one place to other to save their life. At the moment, the family has found a safe place in an inundated house and has decided to pursue justice at any cost. 

Perpetrators are still at large and issuing life threats to S and her other family members. S also gave application to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Hyderabad, Sindh for directing the concerned S.H.O. for  lodging FIR against the accused and arresting them but seems accused are influential people and cannot be brought to book without the help of civil society, media and judiciary. S’s family has also sent complains to the Inspector General of Police, Sindh and the Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan and asked for justice.

In present situation, the safe house where S and her family are staying is an under-construction house, where they are at the mercy of mosquitoes. Also family is starving because they do not have money to feed themselves and to support the litigation.

Tomorrow at 11 am, Ms. S and her family will protest in front of the Press Club, Hyderabad and share her ordeal and call for support to get justice. In addition, a group of lawyers, will move an application under section 22 A & B Cr.P.C. in order to get the FIR registered against the alleged perpetrators.  RightsNow Pakistan appreciates the active support of DIG Police Hyderabad, Mr. Sanaullah Abbasi, and local civil society, media, lawyers’ community and Asian Human Rights Commission based (Hong Kong).

Please read AHRC’s Statement http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-177-2011 and send emails to President of Pakistan and other highest officials.

Anyone who would like to support the survivor, affected family or legal team please contact at rightsnowpak@gmail.com

Today’s update: DIG Sana ullah Abbasi has taken congnizance and asked S.H.O. Nooriabad to come to Hyderabad and record the statement of the victim and her family. SHO Nooriabad recorded the statement of the victim and the family and act accordingly.

RightsNow Pakistan team visited Nooriabad police station and met Station House Officer (SHO) Mr. KHaskhaly and got the progress of the case. According to SHO one accused has been arrested while other are on run. RightsNow Pakistan have also got information from the Court (Kotri) that four accused have got interim pre-arrest bail which will be confirmed on 1oth of October 2011. RightsNow Pakistan legal team has decided to contest the grounds of the bail on 10th October, 2011 and get it dismissed.

Survivor’s medical check up was conducted by doctors at Liaqat University of Medical Sciences (LUMS). RigthsNow Pakistan team will receive them today.

Family and survivor: Family and survivor have been shifted to a safe place (a village) where they have started working and earning their living. Villagers have supported the family with clothes, cutlery and other household stuff.

Mother of the survivor is 8 month pregnant and being taken care in the village and emotional support is being provided by the village women.

One individual donor from Karachi has contributed Rs 4760 Pak Rupees for the support of the family which have been delivered to the family.

 SPARC legal aid section has promised 10000 PKR to RightsNow Pakistan for legal aid support. Today all required documents are being sent to SPARC. Thanks to SPARC!

ALL IS WELL!

 

An International Conference of Lawyers is going to be held from September 9 to 11 on the topic of “Justice for all and impunity for none,” in Lahore under auspices of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Conference will last for two and half days where prominent lawyers from within and outside of Pakistan will contribute on the subject. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will address the gathering. The important issues come under discussion will be on human security. Former president of Fiji Law Society will talk about his experience of dealing with the legal system during internal conflicts. Approximately 50 lawyers from India will cross Wagah border to participate in the gathering. Speakers from Pakistan include Talib Rizvi and Hina Jilani whereas Babur Sattar will initiate discussion on reforming the criminal justice system. Punjab Acting Prosecutor General Anwar Khan Gondal, Zahid Hussain Bukhari and solicitor-advocate from UK Ajmad Malik will also address the audience. Renowned journalists will also contribute on the topic. Expected among them are Talat Hussain, Ayaz Amir and Hamid Mir. Other speakers include Bilal Sufi, Latif Afridi, Habib Tahir, Raza Kazim, Musarrat Hilali, Sharif Hussain Bukhari and Naseeruddin Nayar. The sessions will be chaired by Abid Hassan Minto, Muneer A Malik, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Justice (r) Tariq Mahmood. In the concluding session, Justice ® Fakharuddin G Ebrahim will give his views on the role of lawyers and judges during conflicts. Sanam Marvi, Baloch folk singer Ali Raza, and Gulzar Alam will present their ghazals at the cultural programme.

RightsNow Pakistan calls for security of our Hindu brother and sisters and ending of discrimination agaisnt them on the basis of belief.

Harassment of Hindu girls is daily occurrence which is also not being reported in media due to fear and attacks. Recently, five business families wrapped their business, sold their properties, houses and left the country. These concerns have been raised at different forums and conveyed to authorities but not any serious action has been taken by the Government and security concerns of our Hindu brothers and sisters are not being heard.

Departure of Hindus is causing brain drain and depriving our homeland from peaceful and professional country-fellows. This will further affect the business and ultimately the economy of the country. Flight of business will reduce the livelihood opportunities in the country and deprive us from skilled doctors, engineers, and other professionals. This kind of situation will not make other Hindu brothers and sisters feel insecure but tarnish our country’s image at international level where this perception that minorities in Pakistan are not safe is already high.

It is very sad to see government and State’s lukewarm response to abductions, killings and loss of property of Hindus. There are examples where Hindu community leaders asked district administration for security arrangements on their festivals but district administration refused because they do not think Hindu festivals have the equal status and they deserve the same respect. One of such examples is the complaint of Mr. Sanjesh Kumar, President Pakistan Hindu Seva (PHS) who shared with media that, “The government is not providing them adequate security,” he added

The Constitution of Pakistan which takes the responsibility of protection of every Pakistani, his/her family and property and guarantees equal treatment by the law and state apparatus. Whatever is happening with our Hindu brothers and sisters is clear violation of constitution of Pakistan and international law which obliges states to treat all citizens equally and guarantees their protection. Does not this violate article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan which says, “all citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.”  Not only violation of the country’s constitution but violation of international law to which Pakistan is party and ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) which strictly prohibits the discrimination against anyone on the basis of color, caste creed and other grounds.

 RightsNow Pakistan calls for urgent action to be taken to protect our Hindu brother and sisters’ address their security concerns and respond to their protection needs. So they can feel secure and non-discriminated and could contribute in the development and progress of Pakistan as other Pakistani do. RightsNow Pakistan also draw the attention of lawyer community, NGOs, civil society organizations and other civil society actors to play their active role in the protection and security of Hindu brothers and sisters.