HRCP website down

There seems to have been a problem with the HRCP website hosting hence the website is down. It should be up as soon as the problem is figured out and resolved. If you are looking for any information that is on the website then please leave your query here in the comments box and I will try my best to help you till the website is operating normally again. Thank you.

Update: Please click on this link to access the website – http://209.41.164.55/. The webiste should be back up by tomorrow afternoon.

UPDATE: the website is back up. Please use www.hrcp-web.org to access it.

Text of proposed constitutional package

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We are sharing with you the complete text of the proposed constitutional package so that you may also be able to examine it according to your perception and further be able to use it for research and reference usage.

 

You might also like to see our previous blog post HRCP’s study of the proposed constitutional packagefor our comments and input.

 

TEXT OF PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE

 

POINTS FOR DECISION

The provisions of the following Articles are subject to Decision after consu1tation with the Coalition Partners

(1) Tenure; of Judges (Article 179 and 195)

(2) Article 243 and 243A.

(3) Restoration of Judges (270CC)

(4) Validation of Ordinances (Article 270AAA)

Draft

Note: This is not a Sacrosanct Document and can be changed or altered  by Coalition Partners in the Parliament and others.

A Bill further to amend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of  Pakistan Whereas it is expedient further to amend the Constitution of the  Islamic Republic of Pakistan for the purposes hereinafter appearing;

It is hereby enacted as follows:- Continue reading

HRCP condemns harassments of human rights defenders

Press Release, June 20, 2008

 

Karachi: In a statement issued to the press, Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan strongly condemns the harassment and victimization of human rights defenders, for raising voice against bonded labour. 

 

Mr. Haider said that it was shocking that the main accused reportedly involved in the crime of bonded labour and kidnapping, arrested under the court order has been released after the dismissal of the independent judiciary of the superior court.  Now not only that he has been released but he has the audacity to harass, and victimized human rights activist like Mr. Akhter Baloch by reportedly filing a criminal case of defamation in a district and session court of Sanghar. It is also learnt that the court has issued warrant of arrest of Mr. Akhter Baloch in a baseless and mala fide case. Akhter Baloch is a member of HRCP and has been actively pursuing the cases of bonded labourers, in particular for recovery of the bonded family of Munno Bheel.

 

Mr. Haider has called upon the authorities, to give due protection to the bona fide member and activist of HRCP, and to prevent misuse of the due process of the law and ensure that no human rights activist is harassed and victimized by the violators of the human rights and the law.

 

Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson

EVERY HUMAN HAS RIGHTS – the Elders’ campaign

every human has rights
Visit the Every Human Has Rights Website and sign the declaration

(text from website)

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In the 60th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Elders, with many organizations around the world, joined to launch the Every Human Has Rights campaign.

 

We urge you to embrace the values and goals of the Declaration. To protect the rights of your fellow global villagers. And encourage others to do the same in your communities, workplaces and schools. Click here to learn more about the campaign

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Campaign Themes

 

Each month leading up to the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the campaign partners will highlight a specific area of the rights contained in Universal Declaration; teaching you about its roots, where it stands today, and how you can get more involved. This month’s theme,

 

Freedom from Fear, Preventing Torture, has been brought to you be the Amnesty International

 

Speak out

 

The most formidable enemy of human rights today is silence. Here the Every Human Has Rights campaign partners hope to tell many stories of human rights triumphs and abuses from across the globe, so that all can learn from them.

 

We’ve begun with a few profiles of people who we admire for the work they do. We hope that you will find the following stories of how individuals are standing up for human rights, both a learning and an inspiration. Tell us your story or the story of your community

 

Asma JahangirAsma Jilani Jahangir

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Arrested with other opponents of Pakistan’s General Musharraf in November 2007, Asma Jahangir, head of the country’s human-rights commission and a UN special envoy, has spent decades defending Christians and Muslims sentenced to death under harsh and capricious blasphemy laws. She shelters women whose families want to murder them — because they deserted cruel husbands. She investigates the fate of prisoners who vanish in police custody, and battles for their release. Read more

 

Asma Jilani Jahangir
http://www.everyhumanhasrights.org/asma-jilani-jahangir

HRCP’s study of the proposed constitutional package

Press Release, June 7, 2008

 

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has studied the proposed constitutional package floated by the Pakistan People’s Party. There is no doubt that the present Constitution, which contains several amendments, particularly those inserted through the brute force of dictators require wide ranging amendments so that the country can embark on a constitutional rule. At the same time, the package does not fulfill a number of requirements and is tailored to suit the interests of the current set-up, rather than to deepen democratic governance. HRCP wonders how the PPP proposes to secure support to their package as clearly they do not have the two-thirds required for Constitutional amendments. As such the few pressing issues, including of the restoration of the judges will painfully linger to the detriment of the country and the democratic transition.

 

There are a number of positive amendments. The change of name of NWFP to Pakhtoonkhwa, the demise of Article 58(2) B, reserved seats for minorities in the Senate and the restoration of the executive authority with the Prime Minister are steps in the right direction. HRCP also welcomes the amendments regarding the selection and appointment of judges to the superior courts and in restricting sitting judges from taking on other high official assignments. There is though a contradiction. Sitting judges cannot be appointed as a Chief Election Commissioner or to other non-judicial posts but can still be members of the Election Commission.

 

HRCP rejects the requirement of the Prime Minister of being a Muslim as added by the Package amendment to Article 91. It is disappointing that a party who prides on its democratic credentials should discriminate amongst citizens on the basis of religion. The package has also not touched upon Articles 62 and 63, that require members of the parliament to be “pious” and their qualification is based on vague and subjective criteria of the “goodness” or otherwise of an individual. Similarly, the restriction on the election of a person for more than two terms to be Prime Minister is kept intact.

 

The suo motu powers of the Federal Shariat Court to take up any law and strike it down, as being repugnant to Islam is being kept intact, while the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to hear matters of public importance with reference to the enforcement of Fundamental Rights is severely curtailed by the Package. Under it, the Supreme Court can only pass a declaratory order under its inherent powers and will be not be able to enforce its rulings providing relief to the victims. HRCP is mindful that judges must act and select cases of “public importance” with due care and through well-reasoned judgments, yet the Package amendment will be a serious blow to the enforcement of fundamental rights of vulnerable groups and individuals in Pakistan.

 

HRCP rejects the wording of “reappointment” of the pre 3rd November judges as recommended under Article 270 CC of the Package. It could also be misconstrued especially as the two consecutive terms of the Chief Justice appear to have been deliberately kept vague. As such the Package leaves an impression that the formula of minus-one and plus-one has been adopted, which has firmly been rejected by the lawyers community and civil society. It will lead to a worse judicial crisis that will have long-term repercussions.

 

The intention of the package appears to undermine the independence of the superior courts. The composition and powers of the Judicial Commission are arbitrary. The Commission has the potential of turning itself into a menacing watchdog rather than an impartial tribunal. By allowing, the Judicial Commission to make a code of conduct for the superior judiciary the authors of the Package have subjugated the Supreme and High Courts to a body of retired persons. The requirement of Commission members to be “non-politicized” is vague and absurd. Who decides what is “non-politicized” and how can any person of knowledge and standing be politically empty? HRCP is amazed that a political party should frown upon anyone who is “political” and prefers to hand their destiny in the hands of those who are bankrupt of political thought. Such train of thinking usually originates from military bases rather than from political parties.

 

HRCP hopes that the PPP will take on board the suggestions made to it by all political forces and make clear decisions on the Constitutional direction it wishes to pursue. Priorities must be set as several issues are at stake and must be resolved through the Parliament, but the Package must not keep all of them hostage to a collective decision in a single Package. The present draft of the Package is totally unconvincing, both in its intent and substance, in dealing with the political crisis left behind by Musharaf and his military predecessors.

 

Asma Jahangir

Chairperson

HRCP expresses support for the Long March

Press Statement, 6 June 2008

 

Karachi: Co-Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Senator (R) Iqbal Haider, has expressed wholehearted support of HRCP to the lawyers movement for restoration of the judges, independence of judiciary & rule of law. He has assured the lawyers community of participation of HRCP, its office bearers & members in the “Long March” of the lawyers from Multan to Islamabad, for achievement of the said noble causes, which are imperative for the protection of the human rights and national interest.

 

Mr. Haider stated that there is no tenable reason or justification for connecting the restoration of the judges of the superior courts and their Chief Justices with the Constitutional Package.

 

Mr. Haider emphasised that the delay in restoration of the judges as was committed by the Shaheed Chairperson, Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto as well as in the Murree Declaration, is not in the interest of the country or of the ruling coalition parties, because this delay is promoting unrest and uncertainty in the country and jeopardizing & harming functioning, image and credibility of the Federal Government and its coalition parties. The Government should realize the importance of this issue and the earlier the judges are restored unconditionally, the better it would be for the coalition partners in the Government, as well as in the interest of the people.

 

Senator (R) Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson

HRCP delegation met with the Chief Minister of Sindh

HRCP delegation met with the Chief Minister of Sindh

 

HRCP has been holding consultations on human rights issues confronting the country. With a new democratically elected government in power, HRCP believes it is time to share concerns and proposals with political leaders.

 

Therefore, a delegation of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan headed by Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson HRCP, comprising of Uzma Noorani, Asad Iqbal Butt, Sindh Council Members of HRCP, and Ejaz Ahsan, Program Coordinator, HRCP had a meeting with Mr. Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh at CM House on June 5, 2008.

 

HRCP delegation shared a copy of policy statement of HRCP on critical issues of human rights, for the consideration and support of PPP leadership . This policy statement was adopted by the General Body at HRCP’s Annual General Meeting held recently.

 

CM promised moving necessary resolutions and bill for legislation wherever required, for expeditious implementation of the recommendations of HRCP on human rights issues.

 

HRCP also expressed concern over marrying off 15 under-age girls to settle tribal dispute through a jirga held in Chach village, Kashmore-Kandhkot and demanded that the provincial government take immediate action against all those responsible for the illegal and inhuman decisions and ensure immediate release of the minor girls.

 

Iqbal Haider also presented the recently published, Annual Report of HRCP “State of Human Rights in 2007” to the CM.

 

Policy Statement of HRCP Continue reading