Archive for the ‘News and Views’ Category

Violence against women

Posted: June 25, 2016 in News and Views

Today 4,Aug 2016 violence against women report

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SPARC (Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child) organized the Mango Gathering with Street Children with the collaboration of RightsNow Pakistan (RNP) at SPARC office.

The children enjoyed the Mango Celebration and kids from the age of five to thirteen shared their experiences with RNP members like how they used to spend their day at SPARC center and what they have learned yet?

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kids at Mango Gathering

We found children happy while showing their arts and skills to visitors and happier when they were rewarded.

Most of them like to do coloring in their books. while a couple of them mentioned “they enjoyed the character play games more than the learning where they get to wear the different costumes of Superman and other characters.

These street children have immense potential but need is of resources to be spent on them. To save them from the clutches of vultures of society and equipping them with Education, Knowledge and Skills. Their skills need institutional support to furnish them.

There was a complaint in their eyes that they are not being taken care properly by their government and society.


The girls were equally happy to be a part of Mango Gathering and showed the RNP members the different Craft Work they have created.

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girls learning art and craft skills

The girls introduced the different kind of skills they were learning and showed their colorful handmade work and diverse models of crafts they have made.

We are delighted to share that Ms Uzma Al-Karim has been appointed as advisor special with Ombudsman Sindh office for a period of one year. We are thrilled to hear the news. We also felicitate Mr Al Karim on Ms Uzma’s selection as an advisor.


This news comes as no surprise, of course, to any of us who are acquainted with Uzma’s work, skill and commitment. Provincial OMBUDSMAN office will soon discover how lucky they are to have her.

Being on our Board as a member, we feel proud on your achievement and believe that your selection as an advisor will further expedite the implementation of Anti-sexual Harassment Law in the province.

Congratulation Uzma Al Karim & Mr Karim on this achievement & success. Please accept our best wishes for your continued success.

Sincerely,
Ali Palh Chief Executive
RightsNow Pakistan

Other members of BoD & Team

1. Ms. Razia Sultana Jonejo
2. Mr. Zulfiqar Halepoto
3. Ms Rubina Chandio
4. Mr. Krishan Sharma
5. Ms. Kami Sid
6. Mr. Imran Laghari
7. Mr. Sikandar Baloach
8. Dr. Ismail Kunbhar

Secretariat Team

1. Syeda Qirat Fatima
2. Mr. Nadir Kalroo
3. Shahid Babbar
4. Ms. Nahid Kaimkhani
5. Mr. Aijaz Bijarani
6. Advocate Inderjeet Lohano

Article 14 of the Constitution of Pakistan expressly prohibits torture, and its article 9 talks about security of person and its Article 4 recognizes right of every individual to be dealt with in accordance with law and to enjoy protection of law.  Article of Pakistani constitution talks about equality of citizens.

Besides, Pakistan is also signatory to UN Convention against Torture and degrading treatment and CEDAW which obliges Pakistan and its institution to fulfil its commitment made with international community.

Right not to be tortured is an absolute right and can not be suspended in any emergency.

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Despite all legal and moral binding Pakistan’s state institution are openly expressing biases, prejudices against women and other vulnerable groups and communities and preaching of committing torture which is offence in national law and prohibited by international law.

Newly developed criminal law which talks about universal jurisdiction, under which any person commit tortures will be arrested anywhere in the world. No state or country will provide protection to person commits torture or involved in this practice.

Like other all religions, Islam also love,  peace, tolerance and .freedom of belief does not promote violence.

RightsNow Pakistan strongly condemn CII recommendations regarding light beating of women and demand its abolition. RightsNow Pakistan stands with civil society in its demand of disbanding CII.

Sindh Human Rights Defender (SHRD) also condemned such open invitation of violence upon women by any institution claims to be an state institution and constitutional body called CII. It should be disbanded immediately to show superiority of parliament, constitution and compliance of our religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was first exposed to exploitation within the lawyer community last year in August, after being enrolled as a lawyer at the Karachi Bar Association. I met with a typist named Mubarak Ali — who over a cup of tea — narrated a story about a lawyer and his intimate relationship with a client, who had come to him for the dissolution of her marriage. Lawyer: “Why do you want to dissolve your marriage?” Client: “He beats me up; makes me do all the housework for his family. He doesn’t help me financially in the upbringing of our children. I started stitching clothes and selling them in order to manage household expenses. When he is drunk, he sexually abuses me.” Lawyer: “That’s really sad. You are just like my sister and I’ll personally look into the matter. I usually charge Rs20,000 for such cases but since you are just like my sister, I will just charge Rs10,000.” Client: “Wakeel sahib, I stitch clothes to my pay bills. It’s hard for me to even arrange Rs10,000.” Lawyer: “For now, just give me Rs4,000. I have to rush for another case right now but meet me in the evening at my place and I’ll see what I can do.” Client: “Okay, but I’ll be late because I have to drop my son to his khala’s.” See: State of neglect: Closed eyes to sexual assault At his house, the lawyer ruthlessly told the woman to pay an additional Rs6,000 for dissolution of her marriage or grant him sexual favours. With no means of affording the fee, the woman succumbed.

Selected Articles

Posted: May 26, 2016 in Articles, News and Views

01 #MenstruationMatters: Taboo around menstruation causing women shame….

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-25/taboo-around-menstruation-causing-women-shame/7445378

02  Mom’s letter to lady who gave her “the look” as her son chose a Barbie

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2016/05/moms-letter-lady-gave-look-son-chose-barbie/

03   The Invisibles: Peshawar’s transgender pushed to society’s fringe

http://www.dawn.com/news/1168641

04 Justice, Sexual exploitation and bigotry–Musings of a Pakistani Justice, sexual exploitation and Bigotry-Musings of a Pakistani Lawyer

05  These women stayed in abusive marriages because Pakistan failed them http://www.dawn.com/news/1250897/these-women-stayed-in-abusive-marriages-because-pakistan-failed-them

06 ‘lightly beating’ wife permissible, says CII’s proposed women protection bill  http://www.dawn.com/news/1260803/lightly-beating-wife-permissible-says-ciis-proposed-women-protection-bill

07. On Secret Marriages  – By Rafia Zakaria

http://www.dawn.com/news/1263386

08. Reprodcutive Violence by Tahir Mahdi

http://www.dawn.com/news/1263136/reproductive-violence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23-year-old transgender activist Alisha died at a northern Pakistani hospital, the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) Peshawar on Wednesday after Alisha was shot and injured the other day. She was shot seven or eight times. The main reason of her death was delay in medical care which was denied on the basis of discrimination. Lady Reading Hospital, one of the largest medical facility of the province and where staff dithered over whether to place her in the ward for male patients or female patients. This attitude and prejudice against transgender in our country, its institutions reveals the status of transgender in our society and country.  The death of Alisha can not be attributed to wounds, injuries by bullets but to our attitudes which are anti -human and inhumane. Transgenders are not only victim on our society, other vulnerable groups like women citizens of different faith are also facing the same discrimination.

Transgender Alisha’s murder is not the first incident, before that at least five transgenders have already been attacked in recent months but culprits have not been held accountable which will further encourage these gangsters/criminals and make transgenders more vulnerable.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has become worse place for transgenders where as per report by transgender community representative published in media, 45 transgender had been killed in last two years.

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Alisha at LRH

Transgenders in Pakistan does not enjoy equal rights, despite the highest court of the country (Pakistan’s Supreme Court) has enshrined equal rights for transgender people. Practically, as this incident showed, transgenders are being denied access to education, health, employment and both state and society is compelling transgenders to earn by begging, dance and sex.

We highly appreciate Trans Action – an advocacy  group that has been increasingly vocal in seeking equal rights for transgenders in the province. We stand with them and offer our full support in protection and promotion of rights of transgender community.

According to media sources: “The estimated number of transgender in KPK province at least is 45,000 and at least half a million nationwide.” Most of them live in harsh conditions, hired for dance at wedding parties. Others have little way to make a living, except through begging or sex.

 

We believe that transgender people are easily targeted because:

– They are considered physically weak.

– They have no social support.

They are facing issues and challenges of identity as in case of Alisha, hospital authorities were dithering whether to keep her in male or female patients.


 

Now they are getting NIC cards before they even didn’t had right to get NIC card which was denying them of their previous rights and creating security issues and threats for them.

Not only in KPK, but in Sindh and other provinces, they have same and common threats. “S” from Karachi told that any transgender speak against atrocities of gangsters/mafias they rape them in groups of 30 which is called a PACKAGE for transgender who disobeys them and their commands.

Constitution and other national laws offer them protection but when transgenders visit Government offices they are ridiculed there. “Z” shared even if transgender after 12-14 years schooling got to government office for applying for jobs, they are Ridiculed and Harassed.

Governments (both federal & Provincial) must implement quota of transgenders in jobs.

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Vigil for Transgender Activist Alisha

 

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SHRD & civil society members protesting for Transgender Alisha in Karachi

 


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Sindh Human Rights Defenders (SHRD) Hyderabad members taking part in vigil for Transgender Alisha @ Press Club Hyderabad

 


SINDH HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER (SHRD) also condemned the attack on Alisha and discriminatory attitude of the hospital where Alisha was taken for treatment but not admitted due to her orientation and identity.

Ban on Jami Chandio’s entry into Punjab and restriction on delivering of lectures at various Universities is against the Freedom of Speech.alipalh001.jpg

Sindh Human Rights Defenders (SHRD) strongly condemn this act. Mr. Jami Chandio is a great writer, political analyst and erudite scholar from Sindh. The news has come through different paper and electronic media sources that the Federal Interior Ministry has imposed a ban on Mr. Chandio’s entry in Punjab and restrained him from delivering lecturers against ideology of Pakistan. Text of the document has not come to the surface yet but the news is very disturbing for the civil society who admire Mr. Jami Chandio since a very long time. He delivers lectures on history, federalism, democracy, human rights and other socio-political topics and builds capacity of youth, civil society members, journalists and academia.

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We believe in freedom of expression and such news of ban on Jami Chandio’s entry into universities in Punjab and hence passing of an act by Federal Interior Ministry on issuing direction to the Sindh Government for taking action against Jami is intimidating common people.

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We demand inquiry into this matter and call on the Federal Government to urgently withdraw any ban, if ordered, and thus ensure that Jami Chandio is safe and enjoys complete liberty to exercise his right to freedom of expression.

Human Rights Defenders are legal, legitimate actors in any country, their role in promotion and protection of human rights is appreciated. They assist state in its role of protecting rights.

Ali A Palh

Advocate High Court Sindh

 

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STATEMENTS

Condemn abusive and threatening attitude of JUI Senator and his attempt to hit Marvi Sirmed

Sindh Human Rights Defenders (SHRD) slams assault by JUI senator on rights activist and columnist Marvi Sirmed during a TV show and calls for an action against the Senator Hafiz Hamdullah.

The JUI senator, Marvi Sirmed and Barrister Masroor and Fayyazul Hassan Chohwan were guest on a show aired by News One TV on Friday where women protection laws, crime against women and the role of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) were being discussed. Senator JUI used abusive language to Marvi Sirmed and assaulted her. This abusive & threatening attitude by a senator against women activists and attempt to thrash her during a TV show is shameful and condemnable. It shows lack of tolerance for difference of opinion and attack on freedom of expression.

We support the demand of civil society that, “The obnoxious language and threatening behavior used by JUI senator for a rights activist was deplorable and unacceptable & must not go unpunished.”  Senator said to Marvi:  “I won’t allow you to speak if you are supporting his words,” shows intolerance for other point of views. Other abusive language and sentence which cannot be repeated here, are strongly condemnable.

JUI senator is infamous for his bad temper and he has already threatened many guests during TV show but unfortunately he is still getting away with it.


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Marvi Sirmed has filed an application against the senator and we demand a criminal case be registered before any investigation into the matter is done because threats and abusive language was aired and seen by the nation.  Few days ago the same type of incident happened in the National Assembly of Pakistan, country’s sovereign legislative body, where the sitting government’s senior parliamentarian Khuwaja Asif, who serves as Defence Minister of Pakistan with the additional role as Minister of Water and Power used abusive language against a women MNA and addressed an opposition party’s peer as a “tractor trolley” and said she should work on making her voice more feminine.

Pakistan is party to the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has an obligation to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women and such treatment of women inside Assembly and outside is a disregard of the convention and also violation of Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan talks about equality of all citizens before law and equal protection of law. We endorse the demand made by all activists and lawmakers called for cancellation of membership of Senator Hafiz Humudullah and Minister Khuwaja Asif and call for legal action against them.

Sindh Human Rights Defenders

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We appreciate Marvi Sirmed courage and decision of registering FIR against Hafiz Hamdulah, Senator JUI. We appeal police to enforce the law and arrest the accused.

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Sindh Human Rights Defenders follow the case.

Minority005The Sindh Government has announced that March 24 will be a public holiday in the province on account of the Hindu festival of Holi.

We know, in past, only the Hindu community was given a holiday on Holi but this the first time Holi has been declared a public holiday anywhere in Pakistan.

We appreciate National Assembly appreciate which adopted a resolution for declaring Holi, Diwali, and Easter as holidays for our brother and sisters citizens of different faith and for us as well.

In this regard, we appreciate Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani (PML-N) who moved the resolution, “This house is of the opinion that government should take steps to declare Holi, Diwali and Easter as closed holidays for minorities.” can be read at http://www.dawn.com/news/1245821

Apparently it seems a small step but practically its impact will be far reaching for democracy, human rights and Governance and over all society. It will send message to our our brother & sisters of different faith that in Pakistan they have equal rights, space, and security as other citizens.

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Had this initiative come by Ministry of religious affairs, it would have given even stronger message to citizens of Pakistan belong to different faith. However, their reluctance in National Assembly was not hidden from common citizens.

This decision by the Government of Pakistan will help improve Pakistan’s image at international level  where it was already in discussion that if Muharam’s particular dates are holidays in India then why not Holidays in Pakistan on Easter, Holi and other sacred occasions.

RightsNow Pakistan Chief Advocate Ali Palh congratulate Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani (PML-N) for his perosnal efforts in this regard, National Assembly Speaker, all NA members and whole Pakistani nation.

 

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Justice For Jai Mala

Posted: March 17, 2016 in News and Views

UPDATE/FOLLOW UP

RightsNow Pakistan appreciates SSP Umerkots efforts regarding Jai Mala’s case. Mr. Rukhsar Khawar, SSP Umerkot has taken notice of the case and has appointed DSP as investigation officer.jaimala0010.jpg

We hope DSP will conduct fair investigation and help bring truth regarding the incident.

Please send appreciation message to SSP Khawar at   0333 3349598 (Please dont make calls which can disturb the official on duty).

 

Razia Sultana Jonejo/Ali Palh

Are we allowing predators to take lives of our innocent daughters and sisters by not reporting the crimes and taking legal actions?

Her name was Jai Mala. A 24 years young beautiful woman from Kuneri Sindh who lost her life after 95% of her body was burnt. Nobody took responsibility of what actually happened to her; her father in law gave contradictory information about the incident: One that said she had an argument with her mother-in-law and after refusing to apologies for her husband, in anger, she set herself on fire and the other claims that incident took place whilst she was cooking. That a gas cooker blast was the cause of her death.
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However, her brother Dr. Rajesh says that her in-laws have murdered her by setting fire on her. He also said there were issues in the family but did not realise that they were fatal. He demanded justice with a full investigation about this matter.

According to the newspapers, no case been filed yet. Her body was cremated (agni-sanskar) without a postmortem. It seems that before the cremations, police did try to intervene however after talking to the family of Jai Mala; it went ahead without postmortem investigation. A report to police should have been made and fair investigation should have been taken place.

Every other day we are hearing horrific incidents like this. These cases will not stop until legal prosecutions do not take place. The government should make independent investigations and bring the justice to the victims of these crimes. We need to raise awareness that before being a mother, daughter, sister, and or all named relationships she lives within, women are human beings and they have the right to live life without any fear of harm to their lives.

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Even for arguments sake, we find out that Jai Mala took her own life, then it is a grave tragedy that she was trapped in a situation. Why did she not go to her family for support to get out of the situation? Why would she take her own life away? There should be places in the communities where women can seek advice and be able to talk about their situation confidentially. The young people like her need a lot of support and information on how to seek support when they have feelings of despair. We should not let our beloved daughters, mothers, and sisters to suffer in silence.

We RightNow Pakistan strongly condemn such killings and call for action, a action by the state even if father, mother, brother and other relatives are not ready to make complaint. Being a custodian, rights protector, State MUST take responsibility, be a guardian and file case against the responsible so deterrence is created in the society and no one dare to precious life of another human being.

We request all the readers, actors, concerned citizens to write following state officials about this incident and call for action.

 

Sincerely,

 

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

 

  1. Mr. Mian Nawaz Sharif

Prime Minister

Prime Minister House

Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 51 922 1596

Tel: +92 51 920 6111+92 51 920 6111

E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk,

pspm@pmsectt.gov.pk

 

 

  1. Mr. Syed Qaim Ali Shah

Chief Minister of Sindh

The Government of Sindh Province

Karachi, Sindh Province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 21 920 2000

Email: pressecy@cmsindh.gov.pk

 

  1. Mr. Sohail Anwar Khan Siyal

Minister for Home

Government of Sindh

Barrack 79, Pakistan Secretariat

Near MPA hostel

Karachi, Sindh Province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 21 9204456

Tel: +92 21 9201920-1

E-mail: secy.home@sindh.gov.pk

 

 

  1. Mr. Tahir Shahbaz

Registrar

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Constitution Avenue, Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 51 9213452

Email: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

 

5.. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court

High Court Building

Saddar, Karachi

Sindh Province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 21 9213220

E-mail: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk

 

 

  1. Justice (Rtd) Majida Razvi

Chairperson, Human Rights Development

Government of Sindh

Barrack number 92 Sindh Secretariat

  1. B, opposite to Sindh Assembly Building

Karachi

PAKISTAN

Tel: +92 21 99207042-43

Fax: +92 21 99207044

E-mail: ministerhrd@sindh.gov.pk

 

 

7.. A.D. Khuwaja

Inspector General of Police, Sindh province

Police Head quarter I.I Chundigar road

Karachi-PAKISTAN

Fax-+92-21-99212051

complaints@pprasindh.gov.pk