Thursday, January 31, 2013

PAKISTAN: A journalist / human rights defender has been implicated in an honour killing and police refused to protect him


January 23, 2013 ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-007-2013


23 January 2013
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PAKISTAN: A journalist / human rights defender has been implicated in an honour killing and police refused to protect him
ISSUES: Human rights defender; violence against women; domestic violence; honour killing; impunity
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a journalist/human rights defender has been implicated in an honour killing by a powerful tribe to punish him for raising the issue of the domestic abuse and murder of a woman, who had been declared Kari (black woman-a bad character). The victim is in hiding while perpetrators are raiding his and his relatives’ houses to find and murder him. The police have conspicuously refused to file a criminal case against the perpetrators on the application of the victim. The Sindh highcourt has directed the high-ranking police officials to intervene in the case of murder threats to the journalist and to report to the court but police have failed to comply with the court order.


The woman’s killers are from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and the tribal chief remained as chief of the union council on the party ticket, using police influence on the people of the district.


CASE NARRATIVE:

A woman, Ms Shahnaz Bhutto, 28, was murdered by her husband and brother-in-law on December 7, 2012 on the pretext of an honour killing. She was murdered after her husband acquired her property but she was later accused of having an illicit relationship with a man, who is a journalist and a human rights defender. Her husband, Mr. Rana Bhutto, has married three times and allegedly murdered his first wife, Ms Makhni, by electrocuting her with live wires in 2000 on the issue of property. He married his second wife after the death of the first, and in 2003 he married Shahnaz as his third wife.

Rana Bhutto always wanted to have Shahnaz’s property – one expensive apartment in Karachi city - in his name. In 2012, he got the apartment in his name at gunpoint and sent her back to her village, Maula Alqutub town, in Daharki sub district. She had been made a victim of domestic violence continuously for some years of her marriage in order to get her to transfer her property to her husband. During the past four years, she was writing complaints to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the prime minister, the Inspector General of Police of the province, Sindh high court and NGOs to inform them that she is under domestic violence not only by her husband but also from the male members of her in laws. In 2009, a family Jirga (Panchayat) was held under Dr. Zafar Bhutto and the elders and important personalities of the Bhutto clan in the area attended it, including the perpetrators. The Jirga held that Shahnaz Bhutto had to be violently dealt with, not only by her husband but by the male persons on his side of the family. The Jirga directed that no other person should deal with the lady and that her husband should not beat her; otherwise a criminal case would be filed against him.
However, the perpetrators, with the connivance of police, continued to beat her to get her to transfer the property. One of the perpetrators, Kala Khan Bhutto, is the sub inspector in Central Investigation Agency (CIA), a police wing.

On the day of the murder, Ms Shahnaz was taken to a graveyard at Khair Muhammad Bhutto’s village, 15 kilometeres away from her residence, to visit the grave of her father-in-law who died some months ago. She was murdered by 10 persons and her uncle and others were witnesses to the incident.

After the murder, which was exposed by the journalist Mr. Sikander Bhutto, the murderers announced that Sikander was having an illicit relationship with Shahnaz and he is a target of Karo, which means he is liable to be killed. Mr. Sikander Ali Bhutto, a media representative of the Human Rights Commission (HRCP), a prominent journalist of Ghotki district and vice president of Daharki Press Club, Sindh province, is affiliated with Pakistan Press International (PPI) and reporter at News One TV. He has to take shelter in another province because of armed attacks at his home and the houses of his relatives by the henchmen of the perpetrators who killed Ms Shahnaz Bhutto. Sikander, as a human rights defender, has also reported about the domestic violence against her by the male members of her husband’s family and about her applications to the courts, federal and provincial ministers and high-ranking police officers.

Abdul Majeed, the son of Koro Khan Bhutto, the brother of second wife of her husband, surrendered at the Daharki police station three days after the murder, and confessed that he murdered Shahnaz and that he also tried to murder Sikander, the journalist, but failed. Before his surrender, Mr. Rana, the husband of victim, was arrested and also confessed the murder, on the pretext of honour killing.
The role of the police is very dubious in the case as a sizeable number of the perpetrators’ henchmen are openly threatening to kill a journalist as an honour killing but no action has been taken to provide protection to the journalist and his family members. The police have also ignored the direction from Sindh high court, which asked them to send back a report on the allegations of death threats on the pretext of honour killing. The directions were issued on January 8 but the police have not replied yet.
The killers are from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and the tribal chief remains as chief of the union council on the party ticket, using police influence on the people of the district.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The term Karo Kari is used for honour killings and every year more than 300 persons are made a victim of ‘honour’. However, there is no official record of honour killings as the family members of the victims avoid registering the cases because of more revenge and murders from the perpetrators, who always have good patronage with the local police and lower judiaciary, which is also biased against the women. It is very rarely that perpetrators of honour killings are punished by the courts. Rather, in the majority of cases, a settlement is reached outside the court with the connivance of the lower courts. The settlements are more horrible than the honour killings, as minor girls are exchanged in the settlements.
The honour killing perpetrators use the cover of an illegal feudal court, named a Jirga, which consists of elders from the tribe, and orders the killings of the accused persons and couples. The higher courts have declared the Jirgas illegal but there is no law to ban them. Most of the cases of honour killings are based on the sharing or distribution of property and, when property issues are not settled, then the woman is accused of destroying of honour of the family. The accused woman is then linked with some man. After the honour killing, the murderer is treated as the hero who saved the honour of the family.
This crime is very common in southern Punjab and Sindh, where the feudal and centuries old tribal system is used.

http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-007-2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Umerkot: Forced Conversion & Kidnappings




                                  Courtsey to Adarash NGO at Mirpur Khas Press Club, Sindh

These pictures were taken today after police has been refusing to cooperate on recent abduction and forced conversion of a married Hindu woman from Umerkot, along with her 6 mth old daughter. These protests have been going on for the past 3 days and none of the mainstream media has caught up with the news.

This will be another major event in the series of sexual assault of minors last month in Umerkot by political workers who were able to silence the families and forced them to drop their respective cases against the perpetrators.

Original news report, its in Sindhi: http://www.awamiawaz.net/%D8%B9%D8%B2%D8%AA%D9%86-%D8%AA%D9%8A-%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%84%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%AF-%D9%86%D9%87-%D9%BF%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%8C-%DA%A9%D9%BE%D8%B1%D9%8A-%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86-%DA%A9%D9%86%DA%80%D9%8A%D9%84

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Honey Singh: Propagating violence through music


The musician with rapey lyrics who was shut down in India is being welcomed by Pakistan, some 700 idiots are also planning to go to his concert, can someone plz tell the organisers to have some God damn shame.

Honey Singh is Punjabi rapper, music producer and singer. Recently I came to know that there are a few organisers who are inviting them to their Valentine's party in Islamabad. Upon being disturbed by the news, I contacted the organisers on their facebook page and this is the pathetic response that I recieved from them;

"Please, chill out. Just enjoy the music. People love him, we give him to them. Hes not gonna be raping anyone. And people in Pakistan who are into rapping, they will rape with or without the music." This was response of Sarah Tanveer who is managing director with Pakistan Party Scene.

I am so outraged at this moment. I have seen quiet a few insensitive rape apologists and violence promoting doormats' in my advocacy work but never have I come across people who literally justify violence so blatantly in the name of music. I demand from these people DO WE NOT have any god damn social responsibility that we NEED to celebrate WOMEN BEATING & RAPING music? Are we that low that everything is all a money making business? What happened to categories of ethics and morals that Pakistan claims about or are such ideals just kept to keep women in check and let men run loose like wild beings?

“These pornographic lyrics are unacceptable and it is because of women hating sentiments like these that men think that it's fine to do what they did on that bus, that December night in Delhi. Let's put a stop to these subversive lyrics that infiltrate the minds of people who don't know better and who then justify to themselves the rightness of a crime that harms another human being, sometimes so severely that they lose their lives", NDTV published in one of its reports after consecutive 2 FIR's from different organisations were filed against Honey Singh for his songs “choot” and “Main Balatkari” translated as “I am Rapist” which explicitly talks about how the singer wants to sexually assault a woman in different ways.

Lyrics from one of his songs “Choot” which roughly translates into “Pussy”;

“Come, I'll f*** you,
Exorcise you of the ghost of getting f*****,
After f****** you, I'll hit you with a shoe,
I'd put my d*** in your mouth, and then p*** on you”

This is not just about his violent and pornographic lyrics of his music but this is complete hate speech against women. If anyone wants to ban something, they should be banning all such music which promote violence against women.

“I feel bad that people are actually looking forward to this.Indian people are still better for forcing them to drop Honey Singh as a performer at a hotel. We are so hell bent on getting good names to perform that we will go to any lengths to justify it,”Shoaib Taimur from Pakistan responded.

On expressing my anger on “Everday Sexism Project-UK”, Swati Nair from Delhi responded, “I have SEEN the smirks on people's faces when they sing along. I have SEEN the glint in their eyes when they say certain words. That is disturbing. As hell.”

This low life is not just disgrace to the art of music but he is also a sorry excuse and bad representation of men. I will come on streets if he performs. This isn't just insult towards the celebrated, esteemed women of our country, this is a slap across the entire population of women all over the world.

The singer himself hasn't apologized for his disgusting lyrics instead he has been reported saying, “I am victim of a smear campaign launched by his rivals to finish off his rising career as India's foremost live entertainer.” Indian government has asked the youtube to take the videos and its music whereas Youtube has said no to their demand.

A 23yr old was brutally raped and died in Delhi, around 8 kids have been reported gang raped in Pakistan in last 4 weeks. According to War Against Rape [WAR] around 60-70% cases of sexual violence are not even in reported in Pakistan due to the sentiment that its not a big deal. For heaven sake, stop it! Sexual violence is not a funny thing, it shouldn’t be sung or glorified. At least people in India have come out and openly condemn it rather than others who are supporting him and being apologists for it.
Someone really wants to protest something good, please protest this garbage which people consider music.
Reblogged from Take Back The Tech,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Vijanti: Let me cry for you


Another sad day for justice system in Pakistan, I got this from my field partners' this morning

"About Vijanti's case, the victim party went in compromise with accused and got compensation by them.

Although the sections in FIR are non-compoundable offence, but they made out of court it. The victim party may not appear in the court at any stage.... however regarding persons arrested in the case may face trail till court decide with weak evidences.

Almost 90% cases are hide by parents and dont want to disclose, because they feel it is against honour and they face shamful in community especially in girl child case and here life onward....

Those cases reported with Police or in media only 5% got justice and accused sentenced by the court, the judgements in CSA cases are Life imprisonment and death sentences....

The 95% registered cases went in compromise with accused, the reason for compromise is local customs, pressure and life threat by accused party, non-cooperation by Police department and slow proceedings in the court, every time they get next hearing date.....

The compromise compensation starts from PKR 20,000 ($200) to PKR 150,000 (~$1000).... the other local custom called that "rape apologize", accompanied with group of community members inculuding female and other relatives to forgive them.... it is called (Minth Meer Kaflo), if they denied to refuse (Minth meer kaflo) they face social boycot by the family persons they came for settelment of the issue."

Nadia Gabol [MP] and Sharmila Faroqui [MP] were sent to the survivor's family to negotiate with them. Sharmila Faroqui is extremely famous from Nagarparkar 2010 gang rape case of Kasturi Kohli from Sindh where she pressurised the family to drop the charges against their daughters' rapist. History has repeated itself and once again she was sent to Vijanti's family to suppress them, in which obviously she succeeded.

So this is it? Thats the long and short of everything and anything. A 6yr old's pain was silenced but we are too busy in taking care of political affiliations and subsequent correctness.

Lets not forget that next time a child will be sexually assaulted, any rapist in town can throw in $200- $1000 as a compensation of the damage and be off the hook cos this is what we have turned our country into. The nation which is too busy in speaking of being God fearing people with religious and cultural values will have pin drop silence on such atrocities.

After all people are not people anymore and this is the worth of rape survivor in Pakistan, her pain will never be legally recognized cos after all its "paid sex" and that money talks and rapist walks and then gets protected in Pakistan.

But lets stay in our comforted bubble, lets not challenge the norms we have constructed and lets not forget to be apologist for elitest selves cos thats all we seem to be really good at in this country.

I dont expect from poor Pakistanis whose lives are a daily struggle of survival in the land of pure but I question elite "feminists" and their "pseudo liberal" rape apologists who consider leading government to be ambassadors of pseudo democracy. Will they realise that they havent done their part and that they are complicit in silencing of poor marginalised communities of Pakistan? Is this how this is going to work, that we won't speak up on injustices like feudalism till an elite like Shahzeb Khan is dead and we wouldnt speak up on genocides of Shite till one of the martyred is a celeb? If that is the pattern, is Pakistan waiting for the rape of an elite showbiz superstar to be finally speaking up on it??

Speech at local protest in Umerkot for Vijanti from December 12th 2012 or https://vimeo.com/57209128

I failed to help this girl and it wasnt cos my efforts were not enough, it was because the pseudo liberals of this country created every hurdle they could to suppress the voice of that child cos its easier to point fingers across the border rather than deal with our own in-competencies. After all holding political parties accountable in Pakistan is threatening their pseudo democracies where they protect rapists legally and politically by sending law ministers like Ayaz Soomro in this case.

So Vijanti, let me cry for you cos I know no one will do it. Forgive me cos my efforts were not enough for you. Let me shed those tears that no one was there to wipe for you. Let me mourn this injustice and pain amongst people who will forget you and never recognize you.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Serial Rapist: Ali Hajjano - White Corolla Case

A few days I got an email from one of my reader, Atiq Rehman, and lets see what he has to say;

"I am wondering if you've heard of Ali Hajiano? He is the guy who admitted to raping over 50 women on camera and was shown doing so on air. His accomplice confessed on air too and added that they'd also murdered a transvestite. Aaj TV [local news channel in Pakistan] carried his video. He wasnt caught on charges of rapes directly but he got caught after firing at the police. 

Thanks to his well-connected & influential feudal father, he is still not convicted. 

Sound unbelievable, no? Go right ahead and google him. I am surprised that women especially female politicians and media people haven't bothered to express any outrage or follow up on the case. 

I take it personally because he tried to rape my wife too. We were lucky, we escaped because we resisted. But think about it, more than 50 women raped by this bastard and he's still grinning.

The case became really high profiled at one time that even his father admitted to being a part of the acts, you can read some of the official report here. The reason they were called White Corolla Case as he would abduct women in rent a car corollas.

I am just bringing his case to notice as it would be good because lots of people dont know or have forgotten about it and there are corrupt judges who are letting him off the hook one case at a time
They let the case drag on till the heat dies down and now they're going easy on him."

I was honestly pretty shocked that there have been serial rapists who have admitted to more than 50 rapes and yet the courts in Pakistan wouldnt convict them of their crimes cos obviously justice system is for sale for the rich and powerful of the country.

If people want to read about Atiq's and his wife personal account of encountering with that serial rapist, they can do so here.

Rape is an endemic and the way people in Pakistan refuse to talk about the issue and address the problem only adds to the problem. Our justice system doesn't makes anything easier for the survivors by letting such rapists run lose and this only displays a wider systemic problem of why people refuse to report such crimes. I mean why would you risk yourself when you know that the legal system in Pakistan will not provide you justice at any cost.

Our Pakistani awam is busy at pointing fingers towards India of how they refuse to address rape culture, well lets have a check for ourselves where we even refuse to talk about it. At least, they are standing up, they are challenging their system, what have we done so far, apart from being rape apologist??

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Stories of Courage: Shouting Back

Here I was tweeting away on Tuesday evening, after a ridiculously long first day at the lab after school break. I am currently undertaking my honours thesis and its a shit load of work.

I was really excited to find that "Everyday Sexism" project "Shouting Back" where people were writing about personal stories of street harassment by numerous men at more than alarming situations in their life.

It was a mixed moment for me personally, I was able to read people who were sharing their intitmate stories of abuse and on other hand it was empowering as well, cos its not just me who has faced harassment and who grew up with cultural values of putting up a straight face and never talking about anything.

I shared a few tweets of mine too and then it started the whole conundrum of bullshit from males and unfortunately Muslim males [yeah how many times my males live up to their stereotypes and then they complained of being stereotyped.. le sigh]

"ill mannered" WTF is that suppose to mean, so if someone showed off a bit off skin, does tht mean they deserve harassment :X

Apparently men consciousness is attached to their penis which is correlated to dress of woman which justifies sexual harassment.
 And my mind just completed was blown in all proportions when I recieved this garbage
I am advocating for a kid who is 6yr old & who was gang raped #UmerkotRapes & the douchebag aka Suleiman have audacity to ask me who can be "easily" raped.

Are u kidding me?? DO I look like a rapist like yourself who knows which person is easier to rape, or who has analysed all the dynamics of violating someone.. Motherfuckers!! Do these morons ever think what the fuck are they saying, fucking rape apologists.

But this blog is not about those fucking assholes; this is about what these women;


There were people who came out and presented their very personal stories like
But the most amazing part was these people who came out and called out these two assholes; the amazing massive support...

It was only possible because we had the forum of "Everyday Sexism Project" and most people were following the hashtag of #ShoutingBack to see the horrific nonsense.

I just wanna say this;


Dear men, kindly be done with your douchebaggery, its 2013, STOP arguments of who is more rapeable, STOP harassment & apologia, just stop making excuses of religion, culture and all your bullshit.



Oh and last but not the least, you should start veiling yourself and covering yourself up properly before you come up and justify your harassment or rapist tendencies

www.facebook.com/AlBehudaInternationalWomenResourceCentre
Thanking all these lovely womyn,

Raquel Evita
Nasra Mohammad
Casey
Brenda
Ismail Memon
Tycha Brahae
Mean Kitteh2
Meredith Heron
Ms. Entropy
Marie Knightley
Paula
Katie
Claire
Meghumi Hoshino
Rehab Alnemr
Jim
Hammurab
Lincoln
Katie
Nathanial B
Idles of March
Innes Pryor
Safiya
Usman Rana
Holy Ann
Cinnaun

and obviously team of Everyday Sexism Project

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Umerkot Rapes: Who the hell is Riaz Soomro??

In light of present cases of rapes in Umerkot and survivors not getting justice. One starts to think that what exactly is going on.

So here what exactly is going on, SSP Umerkot, Riaz Soomro, is the brother of Ayaz Soomro, provincial law minister in Sindh for the PPP government.

Reliable sources have confirmed that Riaz Soomro is NOT even a properly trained police officer. He belongs to ANF and his brother got him merged in Sindh Police with no formal training and qualification.

According to my sources, SSP with Sindh police, Riaz Soomro was a PSO to Sindh Chief Minister who was thrown out of Chief Minister house on charges of forcing himself on a servant and trying to rape them.

He also recieved promotions because of his brother, Ayaz Soomro, PPP MPA.

Considering the person was thrown out of Chief Minister House on such allegations, obviously he doesn't sees rape as a crime towards humanity.

At this point all I can say is "Jeay Bhutto"

Website last updated 2013