HRCP urges implementation of quota for disabled students

Press release, 7 August 2008


Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has again called upon the Punjab Governor and Chief Minister to ensure the implementation of the quota for disabled students’ admission to educational institutions in Punjab.


The commission has drawn attention of the governor and the chief minister to the fact that while a number of colleges and universities in the province had implemented the quota as per government policy, quite a few had not.


Calling for a consistent implementation of the quota for disabled students, HRCP demanded that the Punjab Education Department must issue a public notice outlining the extent to which the quota for special children was being implemented in educational institutions in the province.


I. A. Rehman


Candle light vigil in memory of Hiroshima victims

Email from Institute for peace and Secular studies


Candle light vigil in memory of Hiroshima victims


Friends, comrades,


On August 6, 1945 the U.S. bombed the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people. Since then, thousands more have died from injuries or illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs. As peace-loving citizens we condemn this brutality and hope that nothing like it ever happens again. Being a citizen of a nuclear state, it is our duty to register our complaint against the havoc wreaked by atomic explosions.


Tomorrow, on August 6 at 7 p.m. let us all join hands in peaceful protest outside the Lahore Press Club. Please bring friends and family to light a candle in memory of the victims of Hiroshima.


Thanks and regards,


Institute for peace and Secular studies

91-G johar Town Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Ph 042-5219862/ 042-5219863

Mobile 0300-844-5072


Dr. Afia – recent posts and HRCP action

Current information on Dr. Afia Siddiqui


HRCP Press Conference with Dr. Afia’s Sister Dr Fauzia Siddiqui

Dawn ( Aug 2008 ) Aafia’s sister rejects US charges

Daily Times ( Aug 2008 ) Dr Aafia was detained, tortured for 5 years: sister

Dawn Opinion ( Nov 2006 ) Where have they vanished?


Cross Postings

Teeth Maestro

( Aug 2008 )

–  Dr. Afia – Tortured & Terrorised for five years, but on trial for Assaulting an Officer


– FBI admits to kidnapping Dr. Afia Siddiqui, to Afghanistan


( Aug 2008 )

‘Al-Qaeda’ woman appears in court

Mystery of Siddiqui disappearance


[FBI Wanted Report, hunting for Dr. Afia]

HRCP urges justice for Dr. Afia and others

Press release, 5 August 2008


Lahore: With the US finally admitting custody of Dr. Afia Siddiqi, one of the most brutal cases of suppression of individual freedom has become to unravel, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a statement on Tuesday.


The commission said: Public pressure has at last compelled the United States to admit that Dr. Afia is in their custody.


While the Pakistani government has belatedly begun to admit that it had some responsibility towards Dr. Afia, it has a lot of explaining to do as to who had been detaining her and where since she was picked up from Karachi in 2003 along with her three children.


To say that she had been taken into custody only on July 21, 2008 is a blatant lie, as transparently ugly as any falsehood can be. The insinuation, that she had been hiding herself since 2003, is a travesty of truth, an affront to people’s commonsense.


Dr. Afia’s case is a reminder of the grave injustice done to God knows how many Pakistanis in US detention facilities in Bagram in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and elsewhere, who have been listed as missing.


While reminding the government of Pakistan of its duty to trace all people who are reported to be involuntarily disappeared, HRCP calls upon all civil society elements and human rights organizations to make a concerted effort for the release of all missing persons and to ensure that Dr. Afia gets justice, that has long been denied to her and that in a manner no civilized people can condone.


Iqbal Haider


Colombo Declaration: Freedom and Safety of Media in Conflict Situations

We, the participants at SAARC Journalists Summit-IV on ‘Freedom of media in conflict situations’ in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on July 30-31, and August 1, 2008, have agreed to adopt the following Colombo Declaration on Freedom and Safety of Journalists:


Deeply concerned by attacks on the freedom of media and media persons including murder, deliberate attacks, abductions, hostage-taking, harassment, intimidation, illegal arrest and detention and incitement to violence against them due to their professional activities in the conflict zones and beyond in the South Asian region;


Believing that media freedom is inseparable from the fundamental human and civil rights guaranteed by the constitution and enforceable through independent judiciary in a democratic system where both the state and society respect freedoms, show tolerance to dissent and practice pluralism;


Recalling Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that guarantees freedom of expression as a fundamental right, and confirming that freedom of expression is essential to the realization of other rights set forth in international human rights instruments, and endorsing Resolution 29 entitled “Condemnation of violence against journalists”, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 12 November 1997 that calls on Member States to uphold their obligations to prevent, investigate and punish crimes against journalists,


Endorsing the adoption by the Security Council of the United Nations of Resolution 1738 on 23 December 2006 calling on all parties to an armed conflict to fulfill their obligations towards journalists under international law, including the need to prevent impunity for crimes against them and further requesting the Secretary-General to include as a sub-item in his next reports the issue of the safety and security of media professionals and organisations;


Taking note of hitches and obstacles to transition to full democracy in the countries of the region, such as Bangladesh, the Maldives and Pakistan;


Disturbed over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the tribal belt of Pakistan and urging the concerned authorities and security agencies to take appropriate measures against extremism, terrorism and intolerance, avoiding, however, collateral damage to people in general and journalists in particular;


Concerned about the increasing tide of intolerance by state and non-state violent elements against free expression among the member countries of SAARC; Continue reading