HRCP Annual Report 2007

The HRCP Annual Report 2007 is now online. Please visit the HRCP website or click here to be directed to the report. You can also purchase the hardcopy from the main office. Please send in your purchase enquiries to hrcp@hrcp-web.org.

 

Statistics for the year 2007 have also been uploaded. Please click on the following links to see stats for:

The introduction and main highlights are on the link and HRCP stands and activities for the entire year are also included in the chapters for downloads.

 

    HRCP strongly condemns the brutal killing of Jagdish Kumar for alleged blasphemy and demands judicial inquiry into this tragic incident

    Press Release April 11, 2008

     

    Karachi: In a joint statement issued to the press, Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Ghazi Salahuddin, the Vice Chairperson of HRCP Sindh Chapter, have strongly condemned the killing of Jagdish Kumar for alleged blasphemy and demanded that a high level judicial inquiry be conducted into this tragic incident.  

     

    Dozens of Muslim workers at a factory in Karachi beat to death a Hindu colleague on Tuesday for alleged blasphemy. Jagdish Kumar, 27, was tortured and killed at a leather factory in Korangi Industrial Area for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Prophet.  Hindus make up less than two percent of the population of this overwhelmingly Muslim nation of 160 million people.  Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan, although no one has ever been executed for it; however, communal tensions often run high whenever accusations of blasphemy are made, the statement said.

     

    Incidents such as this in which people take the law into their own hands, meting out justice to alleged offenders, are shocking and deeply disturbing. This kind of vigilantism is encouraged by growing intolerance in society which itself is a result of laws that target the more vulnerable sections of society.

     

    HRCP demands an immediate judicial inquiry into this tragic incident and urges the Government to take strong measures to prevent similar recurrences. The blasphemy laws, themselves, need to be repealed, the statement concluded.

     

    Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson

    Ghazi Salahuddin, Vice Chairperson Sindh Chapter

    Karachi outrage: HRCP for probe by world experts

    Press Release, April 10

     

    Lahore: While condemning the Tuesday’s violence in Karachi, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for a probe by international experts. In a statement issued here today, the commission said:

     

    What happened in Karachi on Wednesday, especially the burning alive of several innocent Pakistanis, can only be condemned as acts of utterly horrible bestiality. The hands behind what is obviously a counter-offensive by the camp hostile to lawyers’ campaign must be exposed and the culprits, if it is possible to apprehend them, made to face justice. Unfortunately the MQM leaders have deemed it necessary to direct their customary fulminations at HRCP, although they know that HRCP has always denounced civil strife and stood by the victims regardless of their colours. As for their shrieks as to where HRCP and Asma Jahangir are, they are where the MQM satraps used to find them in their hour of distress and where they will be found if and when the MQM bosses start receiving the bills for their deeds. We regret that HRCP does not have the resources to investigate the latest wave of violence and arson, and certainly not the tribulations of the mafia-controlled population of Karachi. The difficulties in probing incidents of violence in which the highest in the land are apparently involved are obvious. The acts of patently motivated violence witnessed in the country over the past few days demand high-level probe by international experts, although their success too cannot be taken for granted. HRCP is convinced that united action by the entire nation alone can overcome the forces that are threatening not only to thwart the state’s transition to democracy but also its integrity.

     

     

    Mehdi Hasan HRCP Vice- Chairperson

    Musarrat Hilali HRCP-Vice-Chairperson

    HRCP condemns violence, asks democrats to be wary

    Press Release, April 9

     

    Lahore: No words are strong enough to condemn the unpardonable violence inflicted upon Arbab Ghulam Raheem in Karachi and Dr. Sher Afgan in Lahore. Both will cause the people distress, shame and anger for years to come. The victims’ record may not be such as to make any defenders of justice and democracy envious, and their warped view of human rights is known, but every human rights activist will defend their right to disagree and their right to personal safety and dignity. Both incidents must be thoroughly probed and no quarter shown to those responsible for committing violence as well as those who failed in their duty to quell disorder. But that won’t be enough.

     

    Both incidents reveal the extent to which long periods of dictatorship have brutalized the Pakistan society, and how professional gangsters of old days have been joined in criminal acts by educated professionals. The Karachi incident invited indictment of political workers and the Lahore horror stigmatized the lawyers. One should still like to hope that both these groups realize their stake in fostering democracy and justice. As neither of the two incidents appeared to be a fortuitous affair there is ground to suspect that the traditional enemies of democracy might be up to their nefarious tricks. But that only increases the responsibility of political activists and lawyers to avoid being trapped or exploited. It is good that the bar leaders have condemned Tuesday’s disgraceful episode but the Bar Council must also hold an independent inquiry. They have to save their movement from coming to grief as a result of the excesses or weakness of a few of them. The situation does not allow the luxury of evading responsibility.

     

    Not surprisingly the diehard enemies of democracy have raised a chorus of vilification against the yet-to-be-installed governments and some of them want to divert attention from the blood of innocents on their hands by abusing human rights activists. They will never succeed in converting the people to their creed of rule by force and fraud but all those who stand by the people’s rights must now get started on satisfying the citizens’ aspirations for peace, democratic freedoms and economic relief. That alone will enable them to overcome the monster of intolerance reared by despotism.

      

    Asma Jahangir, Chaiperson

    Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson

    HRCP Strongly Condemns Assault on Dr. Riaz by Pakistan Rangers

    Press Release, April 1, 2008 

    Karachi:  In a joint statement issued to the press, Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Ghazi Salahuddin, the Vice Chairperson of HRCP Sindh Chapter, has strongly condemned the assault on Monday on Dr. Riaz, Professor of Applied Chemistry in Karachi University by Pakistan Rangers, deployed at the university.

    The incident occurred following a clash between two student groups. The Rangers deployed in the campus closed all entry and exit gates after the clash. When Dr Riaz was leaving the campus at 5 p.m., the Rangers stopped his car at Silver Jubilee gate and after some harsh words they brutally hit him with batons, causing severe injuries. He was then taken to the Aga Khan Hospital by a group of teachers and students.

    HRCP demands stern action against the culprits, and urges the Karachi University authorities to immediately file an FIR against them to ensure justice for the honorable professor of the university.

    Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson
    Ghazi Salahuddin, Vice Chairperson, Sindh Chapter

    HRCP State of Human Rights 2007 – Released!

    The HRCP State of Human Rights in 2007 has been released.  ar 2007

    It will be available for download on the website shortly. UPDATE: The report is now online on the website. Please click here to be directed to the report.

     

    The report covers the following topics:

    1.      Rule of law

    1.1.   Laws and law-making

    1.2.   Administration of justice

    2.      Enforcement of law

    2.1.   Law and order

    2.2.   Jails, prisoners and ‘disappearances’

    3.      Fundamental freedoms

    3.1.   Freedom of movement

    3.2.   Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

    3.3.   Freedom of expression

    3.4.   Freedom of assembly

    3.5.   Freedom of association

    4.      Democratic development

    4.1.   Political participation

    5.      Rights of the disadvantaged

    5.1.   Women

    5.2.   Children

    5.3.   Labour

    6.      Social and economic rights

    6.1.   Education

    6.2.   Health

    6.3.   Housing

    6.4.   Environment

    6.5.   Refugees

    7.      Appendices

    7.1.   HRCP activities

    7.2.   HRCP stands