Archive for September, 2013

RightsNow Pakistan strong condemned the brutal murder of local women rights defender working on women’s health rights and empowerment in Ghotki. Sahib Khatun Mirani sustained five bullets i.e. one in the leg, one in the chin and one in the face and rest in other parts of her body. The bullet hit in the face proved fatal and caused her death. According to the local sources, the reason behind her killing is Sahiba Khatun’s decision to live separate from her cruel husband with whom she married three years ago.One month after the marriage, Sahib Khatun decide to separate from her husband and live with her mother. Since then she was the target and receiving threats as per local sources.

Case has been registered against the alleged perpetrator, who is husband of Sahib Khatun namely Ali Mohummad Mirani who along with two other unknown people allegedly killed Sahib Khatun. There are reports that Sahib Khatun was already threatened by her husband couple of time.

Question arises whether Sahib Khatun’ murderer will be sentenced. Also question arises that the change our society has witnessed in these few years in terms of women development will be affected by such incidents and women progress will be arrested if such incident keep happening with impunity and law does not come into action. Just lodging FIR and arresting the accused is not enough. Issue is case of Sahib Khatun needs to strengthen the prosecution so that the accused can be proved guilty if he has done the crime and nobody dares to do it again.   

 

 

 

 

 

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RightsNow Pakistan talked many NGO people, civil society actors in Ghotki and some sardars regarding the killing of Sahib Khatun. Unfortunately, the response of most of the actors was : Such incidents happens everyday and lack of justice to victims and punishment to perpetrators is further strengthening the vicious circle.

Another response of a women works in NGO was: “We live in constant insecurity and in danger of life. We dream of our murders everyday. I do not know what is the impact of CEDAW and other laws talks about women security and rights.”

Another response of a person who is against NGOs and women rights surprised me. He said, “We attach his ghairat/honor his womenfolk and do not want they demand emancipation.” He sees women empowerment as a change against male dominance and authority and believe if they want to arrest that change, they need to stifle women who work in the NGO. Because they demand their rights, ask for their choices and they pose threat to status quo.

I was thinking why do not who give tools to women or other vulnerable groups when we give them awareness of human rights and encourage them to demand their human rights. To me, human rights education is necessary only when level of security of human is increased. NGOs should not make intervention in areas where they can not protect people. Not to talk about ensuring people’s protection, at least making organized efforts for the promotion of human rights and human lives is duty of NGOs but sorry to say they do not seem fulfilling them.

 

Sahib Khatun Mirani, a nurse in health sector, thought to start human rights and development work joined World vision and then Takhliq Foundation in March 2013 as social mobilizer. She married with Ali Mohummad Mirani three years ago but when she realized that Ali Mohummad could not prove himself as a kind a good husband. She decided to stay separate. Sahib Khatun’s father died three years ago but for her main source of strength was still there in the form of her mother till 22 August 2013 when she passed away. After her mother died, brothers of Sahib Khatun asked her to made compromise with her husband and stay with him.

 

According to sources, Sahib Khatun’s husband used to issue threat to her but she used to manage them. Sahib Khatun’s colleague shared she was hard working and brave girl and after her mother’s death in August, when her brothers asked her to go to her husband’s house. She went there and started living with him. But that did not make her life easy. She was still insecure and under threats of her husband. These threats materialized and at last her husband with the support of two other unknown accused killed Sahib Khatun as per version of Ramzan brother of Sahib Khatun.

 

However as per other sources, the killing of Sahib Khatun may have link with another issue related to another girl working in an NGO. That girl was threatened by some people who wanted to kill that girl and Sahib Khatun knew this and was making effort to save her. Which story is right will come to the light after police investigation is completed. Hope Police will investigate into the matter without any bias and pressure and bring the real facts to light and perpetrator to the book. If this is the case, then another woman’s life is also in danger and before she is killed, law and law enforcement agencies should come into action. 

 

 

 

RightsNow Pakistan Chief Executive Ali Palh advocate contacted former Naib Nazim Sardar Bari Pitafi and ask if as a liberal Sardar if he is making any effort and supporting the law enforcement agencies to do justice with the victim an the family. Mr. Pitafi was of the view that he is trying his best to support the family to strengthen Sahib Khatun’s case. He condemns this brutal murder and making his efforts to make sure such incidents are not repeated in the district.

RightsNow Pakistan believes state has the resources, responsibility and it should have the will to protect its citizens particularly vulnerable citizens whose protection level is low.

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We feel proud to share this good news that outstanding Sri Lanka human rights activist JC Weliamuna has been awarded with Citizen’s Peace Award. For this, we congratulate JC Weliamuna himself, his wife, children, friends, civil society, legal fraternity and Sri Lankan public. JC Weliamuna, is one of the prominent human rights activists who is known as a person of courage stand up for the rights of the citizens. He stood for the protection of human rights in very hard times during the War in May 2009. When we ask Weliamuna who is a very simple, humble and brave person why does he stand for human rights? He says, he just follows his conscience, he considers human rights as one of the values of the society which should be defended at any cost and this has been taught to him by his mentor and parents.

I know Weliamuna since I was working in Sri Lanka in 2007. Weliamuna was a sign of encouragement and determination for Sri Lankans. Welia stood for human rights in days when there was War in Sri Lanka and most of the human rights defenders were under serious threat. The level of threat to Weliamuna reached to serious level and grenades were thrown in his house. At that time, I witnessed people’s love and civil society’s solidarity with this brave lawyer when legal fraternity and civil society came in streets to condemn attack on Welia’s house. JC Weliamuna’s house was attacked with grenades because he had raised critical human rights.

We appreciate the decision of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka for honouring JC Weliamuna for his outstanding human rights work. We also congratulate other human rights defenders in Colombo and other parts of the country who have always shown great courage and commitment for the promotion and protection of human rights and assure them that we always stand with you and appreciate the good work you are doing in very difficult circumstances. We also hope NPC will reward the work of other human rights defenders working in the remote and excluded areas of Sri Lanka.
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Today we also miss Sunila Abeysekera, a fearless and celebrated Sri Lankan human rights defender who died of cancer two weeks ago. We appreciate your work and miss you Sunila.

The Citizen’s Peace Award is given yearly by the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka to honour an outstanding individual for exceptional demonstrated courage and consistency, working in hostile conditions, to promote peace in a spirit of sacrifice.

Trip to Japan
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The first few things which I wanted to visit during my Tokyo trip included prisons, police, courts and justice institutions. This is building of ministry of Justice in Tokyo where our lawyer friend Mamba took us. I don’t agree with those who see and seek justice in buildings but i do consider infrastructure is important for meeting the needs of the society when justice is done. A beautiful building of justice shows nations’ commitment with the justice and rule of law.

A just court under a tree is much better than an unjust court in a beautiful tallest building.

In Japan, particularly in Tokyo, i saw both infrastructure and enforcement of law through justice ministry. It was because of conscience of the nation, i think. Japanese people are law abiding by birth, they learn compliance of law in their families. So most of the Japanese have courts within (my personal opinion). They care about environment, resources, people and time. Thats to me is justice. They have just conscience. Mahatma Gandhi said: There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts. And my Japanese freinds, you have that court inside you.

And there i remembered my beloved country Pakistan and the famous quote:

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

Yes, Pakistan which is either in war or war situation. Everyone of us is client of security. Human rights are violated on daily basis. Rich buy justice while poor are victim of those who are supposed to dispense justice. I have learned a same definition of justice from different nations including Japanese that “Justice means minding one’s own business and not meddling with other men’s concerns.”

Thanks God we were blessed with the presence of Kazuhi Kanai. She studied in Boston College and we talked a lot about our stay there. We missed Davis Square Boston together and made a wish at Meiji Shrine to visit Boston again. Yes, Meiji Shrine which is located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meji and his wife Empress Shoken. Meiji Shrine is located in a forest that covers an area of 700,000 square-meters (about 175 acres).
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There was a section where everyone was making wishes. One wish was “Wish I had a healthy baby. Another wish was “Wish we had peace in the world. There were lot of wishes made by the people and people there were saying Meiji help fulfill wishes. I also made a wish and hope it will be fulfilled with the grace of God.

During visit of Meiji Shrine, i really felt peace. A peace which a person feels in the lap of mother. A peace a person feels in the cradle. A peace a person feels in the arms of beloved.

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I liked the gate of the shrine which at the face of the forest was making an avenue.
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After shrine Kazuhi took us to ONE DOLLAR market in Shabuya where we saw how chinese made things have flooded Japanese market. During market visit myself and Kazuhi were craving for coffee and Imran Laghari, my Pakistani freind,was thinking of juice. So myself and Kazuhi walked to the Starbuck while Laghari had a juice from the nearby 7/11.
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During the trip, Kazuhi was learning urdu and Sindhi lanaguage from us and reciprocating with japanese.

To be continued…….

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16 years old, Jitender Arjunwar s/o Isoria Parsad, family name Ghurewal Hindu, presently imprisoned at Juvenile Jail Hyderabad was held by Pakistani authorities few months ago on 1 July 2013 remain in custody of agencies till 15 August 2013.

Jitender is Indian national from Madhia Pardesh State’s Barghat District. He does not tell any particular reason forr crossing border. However, he miss his family (mother and brother). He can speak Hindi and is 5 class pass from Shakshiya Buyyadi Prathmik Shala of Bharghat School. He is also suffering from blood disease.

RightsNow Pakistan team visited Juvenile prison and made assesment of his protection and emotional needs. Jitender feels lonely and miss his family badly. He has his brothers’ cell number but since he is indian citizen so nobody dares to assist him to connect him with his brother through phone. Everyone is scared of Pakistani agencies.

RightsNow Pakistan asked if Jitender has seen doctor for his medical needs. Jail authorities who were very cooperative told that Jitender has seen doctor couple of times and can be sent to hospital if need arises.

RightsNow Pakistan lawyers got vakalatnama/power signed by the JItender and submitted at the Court of District & Session Judge Umerkot where his challan was produced by the Khokhrapar police under section 14 of Foreign Act.

RightsNow Pakistan team is providing legal aid to Jitender and has identified following needs of Jitender which need to be addressed immediately.

Health needs: Hospitalized and treated at Karachi properly.

Telephonic contact with his family in India.

RightsNow Pakistan is going to inform Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), UNHCR for support for Jitender.

RightsNow Pakistan is constantly and consistently monitoring Jitenders’ security situation in the jail and case at the Court.

 

 

 

For further information about the case please contact RightsNow Pakistan team (Advocate Akhter +92 300 3286496 or Mr. Shahid Babbar +92 300 8733852). If you need more information about RightsNow Pakistan’s work please visit http://www.rightsnowpk.org