Archive for the ‘News and Views’ Category

Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network (SHRDN) Fact Finding Report on Maher incident
Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network (SHRDN) delegation (Zulfiqar Halepoto, Zulfiqar Qadri, Komal Hingoro, Faiza Khanzada, Anu Solangi, Fida Chohan and Ali Plah coordinator SHRDN) visited village Faiz Mohummad Chandio near Mehar District Dadu in Sindh province where 8 children and one women were reported dead due fire. More than 20 men and women were serious;y injured who suffered serious burns when fire raged through Faiz Mohummad Daryani Chandio village 30 kilometres away from Mehar taluka of District Dadu.

This tragic incident took place on Monday night dated April 18, 2022 which reduced around 60 houses to ashes, burnt grains, tractor, tube well machines, motor cycles, and almost everything of the village. Villagers told the delegation that around 150 buffaloes, cows, goats and other animals also perished in the fire.

Delegation offered condolence with heirs of dead and asked the causes of fire. Community leader shared that the fire broke out due to wind storm. However it was contradicted by the womenfolk who said they were threatened few days ago by some people and that complaint was done to local elders, MPA, MNA, Sardars. Any FIR lodged or inquiry done, villagers said no inquiry is done nor any FIR is lodged. One Government Officer on condition of anonymity shared that local influential people are trying to suppress the information regarding fire and are reluctant to register the case.

Chief Minister SIndh visited the place met with families of dead and announced compensation 5 lacs for each dead and two lacs for each injured.

Villagers said injured are taken to Larkana hospital where they are unattended and not being provided medical treatment. They confirmed this infront of Mr Irfan Laghan Laghari brother of local MNA Ifran Laghari. He said he will raise the issue with the authorities.

Villagers shared that the rescue was possible but due to fire brigade at Mehar which was not functional which caused death. And Fire brigades came from Larkana and KN Shah after two days. Delegation observed smoke was still coming our of heap of straw and not extinguished completely.

Medical camp set up at site was not fully equipped to deal with the incident. They shared that they don’t have medicine for children and women. Total 100-125 women were there who were still in trauma and physical not well. Few pregnant women were also in tents supplied by revenue officials on Chief Minister Sindh’s directions complained that medical camp is just formality and no nurse and female doctor available there. Delegation contacted the camp incharge who said lady doctors are available but they are not brought because authorities didn’t order so.

Villagers also complained that Edhi, Sailani and sometimes revenue officers are providing food and water but supply is not sufficient and regular by revenue officials. They said there is no drinking water for last two hours for children.

Vetinery facilities for cattle treatment was not seen. Villagers said doctor came but he just superficially treated the animals which are still suffering and facing pain and burns in scorching heat.

Military was seen there for support for villagers. EDHI and Sailani team was providing relief to villagers.

Mother who lost their children were in deep trauma and without psycho social support.

SSP Dadu and Deputy Commisioners were contacted for meeting but as commission set up by the Chief Minsiter was coming so they regretted and shared that camp is set up led by senior revenue officer of KN shah is taking care of rescues and relief. SSP said that security and law and order situation is under control. Villagers are safe now.

Delegation observed that the village is not properly connected to taluka mehar due to proper infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc0 and elected representatives are not properly taking care of the villagers as villagers of neighboring villages shared.

Recommendations:

  1. FIR should be registered against unknown persons and investigation by an honest SSP level person should be conducted and a Commission headed by a High Court judge/Sesion judge to conduct the inquiry into the causes of fire, lack of availability of fire brigade at Mehar, lack of medical facilities etc.
  2. Well equipped camp should be established to look into the matter of relief (water, food, clothes, tents, daily use items etc)
  3. Lady police officer along with team should be deployed to ensure security of women living in the tents to prevent harassment.
  4. Female doctor accompanied by nurses should be deployed in the camp to provide medical treatment to women, girls.
  5. Psycho social support should be provided to women and villagers suffering from trauma.
  6. Chief Minister of Sindh should increase amount of compensation to 2000000 for each dead and 7 lacs for each burnt and free treatement of injured and burnt at Karachi as Larkana hospital doesn’t have such facility.
  7. Roads bridges, water supply other facilities in the area are missing.
  8. Local elected representatives should pay proper attention to villagers their relief needs.
  9. Sindh Government, Federal Government, MPAs MNAs of the local areas should design rehabilitation plan of the burnt village and CM Sindh should personally supervise it.
  10. PDMA and NDMA should be hold accountable for their lack of effective role in rescue, relief of this incident.

Ali A. Palh

Coordinator Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network

She was known for her fearlessness and struggle for human rights. She founded cafe known as The Second Floor where human rights defenders meet and discuss human rights. A safe space for activists. Born raised educated in Karachi.

SHRDN takes this opportunity to demand justice for all such supporters of all voiceless: Nazim Jokhio, Roshan Rajpar Sabeen Mehmood And Parveen Rehman.

In words of Fifi, May you rest in peace but we will not until your killers are not found & prosecuted.

The Murder of Nazim Jhokio is a wakeup call for the judiciary and Pakistani society. Nazim was tortured to death by the detained PPP lawmaker, Jam Awais, in Malir for trying to prevent the legislator’s foreign guests from hunting the vulnerable houbara bustard near the deceased’s village in Thatta’s Dabeji area and filming it on November 2. Though hunting is banned in Pakistan, it is permitted for wealthy foreign dignitaries.

 The FIR was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint by the victim’s brother, who accused MPA Awais and Member of the National Assembly Jam Abdul Karim of having a hand in Jokhio’s murder.The victim’s brother told that hundreds of feudal and influential figures are trying to reach us and pressurizing us to not follow the case further. He said Nazim had made a video before his death after he was thrashed by the influential landlord.

Victim Nazim Jokhio said that he made a live video of hunting at 4 pm. Some person including the Arab hunters had snatched the cell phone from him and beat him to keep him silent, but he was later given his phone. He said he made a phone call to Madadgar-15 but the police did not arrive.

Although, He did not name anyone in the video statement but said that those threatening him would be responsible. “I am not afraid but this video statement of mine should be kept on record. I am receiving threats and I would not seek an apology,” he said in the video statement.

Relatives and members from the Jokhio’s community staged a sit-in on the national highway at Dhabeji with his body. They buried the reporter in a nearby graveyard and then continued the sit-in until the FIR been lodged.

Nazim’s widow, Shireen Jhokio fought the case of her husband for more than 7 months but she couldn’t resist the pressure from feudal lords who have a close ties with the Sindh’s ruling elite.  The pressure on shireen is reflected on her statement in which she gave a pardon to the murderers. She was getting a life threat from the defendants as well as the immense social pressure from the tribe.

Pakistan is a country that sits fourth in the International Federation of Journalists’ list of “dangerous” countries with the death of 138 journalists since 1990. The state must ensure the justice to the victim family. This case could be an example to restore the public faith on the judicial system of Pakistan.

A Civil Society Moot on current Human Rights Abuses in Sindh
(Land Disputes-Tribal Killings, Crime against Women, Sexual Harassment in Universities) was held on Wednesday-16-02-2022 @Hyderabad Press Club
Event was organised by a group of right based activists including Zulfiqar Halepoto, Ali Palh, Zulfiqar Qadri and others under the title of concerned citizens of sindh”
Event was aimed to discuss and deliberate upon the recent wave of violence in society and suggest way forward-
The concept of interactive dialogue was to engage citizens to lobby with relevant stakeholders to influence them to take actions, implementation and do legislation-
Another objective was to initiate recommendations after participatory approach of engaging representative voices of people from different sectors of society-
Focus was to engage Gender. peace, women and human rights activists, academia, lawyers, writers, intellectuals and concerned citizens to speak their minds-

Resolution:

Civil Society/Human rights Defenders gathered today discussed, deliberated issues faced by Sindh and its people and unanimously passed a resolution which include following demands:

· All civil society actors and defenders should unity on one point agenda which is issues and challenges of Sindh regardless of the political affiliation, creed, and other differences.
· Human Rights in Sindh should be dealt by a dedicated ministry and a provincial committee which should include activists from all geographical zones, working on different themes, represents different communities, citizens of different faith and orientations.
· Implementation of Sindh (Repeal of the Police Act, 1861 and Revival of Police Order, 2002). (Amendment) Bill, 2019, activation of The Sindh Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission and formation of districts committees through the procedure laid down in the act for improvement in police working, efficiency and conduct.
· Betterment in police recruitment so no criminal wears uniform and commits fake encounters and other crimes against innocent citizens
· Immediate action against culprits, mafias, builders, corporations involved in land grabbing other human rights violations
· Implement all pro women laws with sincerity, dedication, commitment and will and legislate new laws with bona fide and real intention of empowering women. And revision of laws in the light of feedback from Bar Associations, human rights defenders, National Human Rights Institutions, women groups, judiciary and other actors and stakeholders.
· Prevention of anti- women customs including honor killing through laws and implementation of courts decisions on them
· Ensuring Independence of judiciary and efficient administration of criminal and civil justice system and equal representation of women in judiciary
· Digitalization of revenue record and use of information and other technology in buying selling of land to avoid land disputes. Implementation of Anti Sexual Harrasment laws in Universities and other institutions and their monitoring. For preventing sexual harassment in educational institutions through exams, tests interviews, exam copies should be shows to all students and their parents for transparency, camera monitoring for interviews, and other steps. Dedicated police post in each university with female police staff for prompt response to protection needs of female students, medical and other lodging facilities for female students. Appointment of wardens for hostels for limited period and only two tenures.
· Psycho social support provision in all educational institutions along with sports activities
· Steps and measures by Sindh and Federal Government and human rights ministries for women children transgender friendly societies
· Seminars symposium on human rights, women rights sexual harassment prevention in Universities and participation of civil society and parents in them
· Bar Associations should establish legalaid forum and Sindh & Federal Government should provide legalaid to vulnerable individuals community for getting justice
· Home Ministry of Sindh should be separated from CMship of Sindh province
· Anti-Corruption Department should be made effective and efficient and its image and character should be improved
· Federal Investigation Offices should be established in all divisions of Sindh in first phase and second phase in all districts of Sindh
· Growers, peasants rights should be protected and Sindh Government should withdraw its appeal against decision of Sindh High Court |Ghulam Ali Laghari in favor of Haris regarding health insurance, land rights etc
· Human rights defenders should be protected and law should be enacted for their protection.
· Vice Chancellors of all universities of Sindh should be recruited n merit and funds and budgets of these universities should be increased
· All absconders should be immediately arrested
· Misuse of Anti Terrorism Act, irrigation laws should be stopped against political opponents
· National Human Rights Institutions including Sindh Human Rights Commissions, Sindh Commission on Status of Women, Sindh Commission on Rights to Information should be re-designed as per paris principle internationally recognized principle for ensuring their independence and increasing their outreach.

Press Statement:

Posted: October 9, 2021 in News and Views

Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network (SHRDN) condemns the harassment and property damages to a journalist Rauf Chandio.

Rauf Chandio is an independent journalist based in Hyderabad, Sindh. He has contributed to reports in the National and International publications. His reporting is focused on the civic and human rights issues. Recently he has been targeted by the unknown men and his car was set on a fire which causes immense damages to him.

SHRDN believes that Rauf was targeted due to his identity as a journalist. The attack on Rauf Chandio, is emblematic of the violence and impunity for threats, harassment against human rights defenders in the region.

SHRDN condemns the violence against Rauf Chandio which it believes is a direct reprisal for his journalism and human rights work. SHRDN is extremely concerned for his safety and that of other journalists and human rights defenders working in the region.

We urge the provincial authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders and journalists in Sindh are able to carry out their legitimate human rights and journalistic activities without fear of violence, reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Ali Palh Coordinator

Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network

Ali Palh Coordinator Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network

Focal person FMoHRs

Justice through media is seen justice by people/women and distrust on state institutions like police

  1. Improving function of forensic, FIA, police, prosecution, other institution
  2. Role of FIA for collecting evidence in hybrid crimes like rape through what’s blackmailing
  3. Legalaid to women and all citizens for justice
  4. Freedom of expression shouldn’t be curtailed in the name of fake news disinformation

6 role of Sindh human rights defenders network (SHRDN) in sharing information and verifying information

  1. Inclusion of UNSR in framing law on media and input of human rights defenders
  2. A what’sup group by Federal Ministry of Human Rights include four IG and all provincial commissions for information sharing, action etc.

9 Benazir income support program has reduced violence against women and librated women so more such program should be introduced through ahsas etc

12 awareness on how to share news information following media ethics

A delegate of human rights lawyers met with the Governor of Sindh Mr Imran Ismail at the Governor House on Thursday, September 2, 2021 and discussed on public issues, their resolutions through public interest ligations. The Governor.Sindh also hosted lunch in their honour.

The meeting was attended by the opposition leader Haleem Adil Shaikh and the advisor to governor Umeed Ali Junejo.

The delegate was comprising Barrister Murtaza Mahesar, Advocate Mumtaz Gopang, Advocate Anwar Kamal, Advocate Riaz Afandi, Advocate Wahab Baloch, Advocate Ajmal Solangi,Advocate Bhagwan Das Bheel, Advocate Altaf Malik, Advocate Faisal Mughal, Advocate Ahmad Rahseed and Advocate Ali Palh.

The delegate highlighted the increasing cases of human rights violations in sindh, security concerns of human rights defenders, policies regarding NGOs, and the delay in announcement of the members and chairperson of the National Commission for Human Rights a national watch dog on human rights and HRDs.

Delegate also raised issues of water shortage and issues of growers, growers, discussed current conflict in Judiciary on appointment of judges in the highest court of the court, toll tax issues faced by the general public by advocate Ali Palh Coordinator Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network (SHRDN).

مرد عورت کو ملکیت سمجھنے سے گریز کرین – عورت ایک مکمل انساان ھے برابری کے حقوق ھین اسے

طلاق کے بعد بھی شوھر بننا ظاھر کرتا ھے کے قانون کو حرکت مین۔آنا چاھئے ان کو سخت سزائین آنی چاھئے

During Press Conference @ Hyderabad Press Club we Presented list of Illegally Abducted and Disappeared persons in Sindh–We Met Families of victims specially of journalist Ghulam Rasool Burfat and we were unable to speak to them while at tears in eyes for their beloved ones–They demand that Fair trail is their Basic Human Right-Press conference led by human rights lawyer Ali Palh was joined by Jabbar Bhatti and sister Sorath Mallah whose father was illegally abducted couple of months ago