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[16days_discussion] Pakistan - Woman Tortured over Attempted Land Grab

16 Days Campaign 16days at cwgl.rutgers.edu
Thu Aug 29 09:23:13 EDT 2013



 From WUNRNhttp://www.wunrn.com: <http://www.wunrn.com>
Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-114-2013
*PAKISTAN - WOMAN TORTURED OVER ATTEMPTED LAND GRAB - PERPETRATORS 
IMPUNITY *

27 August 2013 - *The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received 
information that a woman was dragged onto the street and was tied to a 
tree by land grabbers working for a member of the provincial assembly of 
Punjab from the ruling party. The police reached the scene just as the 
perpetrators were getting ready to hang her. The police demanded that 
the victim pay a bribe in order to file a case against her attackers. 
The policemen also threatened the journalists and human rights defenders 
against agitating on the case of the manhandling of a woman by people 
from the ruling party. A case was filed against unknown persons for 
interfering in the official work of the police. The Station House 
Officer says that the journalists and human rights defenders protesting 
against the police and perpetrators would be booked in the 'open FIR'.*

*CASE NARRATIVE:*

Information as received from the International Human Rights Commission, 
Pakistan (IHRC)

Ms. Ghulam Fatima, 38, wife of Haji Noor Ali, a taxi driver, resident of 
Street No. 3 Kachi Abadi Kamir, Sahiwal, Punjab, was abducted by more 
than half a dozen persons including women, on 13 August 2013. The gang 
leader, Mr. Jahangir is a well known criminal who was just a few days 
earlier released from jail. He was leading the gang and wanted to kill 
her with the help of some women so that it would be seen as a fight 
between the women on some petty issue. The gang is famous for grabbing 
the land of poor people if they do not agree to sell their property at 
the price offered by the gang. The gang survives under the patronage of 
one Mr. Arshad Malik, a member of the Punjab provincial party belonging 
to the ruling party, PML-N.

Ms. Fatima was asked many times to sell her property and house where she 
also runs a small grocery shop. She refused to do so as she does not 
have any other source of income. On 13 August, Fatima's house was 
attacked by six persons. She was beaten and dragged by the hair and 
paraded through the busy market place. The perpetrators took her to the 
house of their leader, Jahangir, where she was beaten severely by 
several of the men. Then she was tied to a tree inside the compound. 
After hearing her cries the people telephoned the Kamir Police Station, 
and an officer, Assistant Sub Inspector of Police (ASI) arrived and 
rescued Fatima just as the gang members were about to hang her. At that 
time she was unconscious and the police officers brought her around by 
splashing water on her face.

She was, first, taken to the police station and then to the hospital for 
medical help. She received several injuries on her body. At the time the 
police rescued her they did not arrest any person within the compound 
despite the fact that it was obvious that they were the attackers. Nor 
did they arrest anyone later or file a First Information Report (FIR) 
against the perpetrators. Instead the police, with the help of gang 
members, took the plea that Fatima had come to their house with the 
intention to kill them.

When this information was received by IHRC, its director rushed to 
police station and also informed the president of Press Club of Kamir 
and other journalists who also arrived to rescue her from the alleged 
criminals and the police. The police also refused to file an FIR on the 
pretext that they would first investigate the incident. The journalists 
from the print and electronic media interviewed and photographed Fatima 
and some people from the immediate neighbourhood and this was broadcast 
live over the local channels. The Station Head Officer (SHO) left the 
police station after finding the journalists in attendance.

When they saw the extent of the media coverage the police were upset. 
The next day when media persons and human rights defenders visited the 
police station to inquire about the filing of a criminal case against 
perpetrators, ASI Abid became angry and threatened them. He said that 
the police can conduct a fake encounter against the persons who 
interfere in the official work of police. The following day a case 
against unknown persons was filed at the Kamir Police Station for 
interfering in the official work of the police. The president of the 
Press Club, Dr. Barkat Ali Gulzar and the director of the IHRC, Mr. 
Sabir Shehzad were informed that if they agitate more they would be 
booked in the 'open FIR'. The local people also held more than one 
protest demonstrations against the incident of violence against a poor 
woman and the attitude of the police for providing protection to the 
perpetrators.

The local activists are accusing that the police work under the pressure 
from a member of the provincial assembly, Mr. Arshad Malik, who belongs 
to the ruling party, PML-N and who has gangs made up of notorious 
persons. There is very real concern that the land grabbers will take 
revenge from Mr. Sabir Shahzad of the IHRC for providing legal support 
to the victims of human rights abuses and who actively works against the 
issue of land grabbing in the area.

Website Includes Suggested Actions.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on 
Violence against Women calling for her intervention into this matter.


-- 
The 16 Days Team
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
Center for Women's Global Leadership
School of Arts and Sciences
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New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555
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Email: 16days at cwgl.rutgers.edu
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