HRCP shocked at escape of cop accused in rape case

Lahore, May 21, 2010: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern over the release of a policeman who was among the accused detained in connection with the rape of a 13-year-old girl in police custody.
A statement issued by HRCP on Friday said: “It is a cause for grave concern that a policeman in custody over his role in the rape of a 13-year-old girl was allowed to escape. The girl was raped in a police station in Wah Cantonment over a period of 21 days. What is even more distressing is the fact that the escape was facilitated at the behest of a prominent elected parliamentarian.
Unfortunately, elected representatives, irrespective of their political affiliation, have frequently played a negative role in disregard of peoples’ rights and demands of criminal justice in order to rescue their goons. This time the parliamentarian in question happens to be affiliated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
All political parties are expected to demonstrate to the people through their actions that they are not paying mere lip service to the principle of judicial independence and peoples’ rights. Not only is it expected of the political parties, but it is also in their interest to be seen to be standing with the victim and not the perpetrators of such appalling abuse of human rights and dignity.
While due process of law is supposed to act as a deterrent to crime and violation of rights, allowing impunity to the perpetrators achieves the opposite result.
The escaped policeman must be rearrested at the earliest and brought to justice along with the other accused in this case of horrific violence against a child. It must also be ensured that the parliamentarian in question steps back and that political influence is not allowed to interfere with the course of justice.”

Asma Jahangir Chairperson