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


HRCP condemns vigilante justice in Toba Tek Singh

LAHORE, May 10: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the killing of eight suspected robbers in Toba Tek Singh district at the hands of villagers and demands of the Punjab government to take measures to check recurrence of such incidents.

In a statement issued on Monday, HRCP said according to media reports the mob killed the suspected men by stoning them and beating them with clubs, which implies that the suspects were not armed with guns or other dangerous weapons and that it was possible to arrest them and produce them before the law-enforcement agencies. The Commission is of the view that this act of citizens beating the suspects to death is not only illegal but also inhuman. No law in the world sentences a thief to death and that too without a trial. While the vigilante justice witnessed in Toba Tek Singh the other day shows people’s frustration with the police and the justice system, it also reflects the brutalization of society. Every other day police themselves kill suspects in so-called encounters. At times, police officials have encouraged people to take law into their hands and announced rewards for anyone who kills the suspects. If this trend is allowed to continue, more and more people will kill their foes after declaring them criminals. This is a sure recipe for anarchy. HRCP calls upon the Punjab government to hold inquiry into the Toba Tek Singh incident and take measures to root out this kind of vigilante lawlessness.

Asma Jahangir

Amputations by Taliban outrage HRCP

LAHORE, May 6, 2010: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed shock at the barbaric act of amputation of hands of three men by the Taliban in Orakzai Agency.

A statement issued by HRCP on Thursday stated that it is apparent that Talibanisation rule persists in parts of FATA despite fierce military operations there.

“The Taliban are increasingly adopting outrageous practices, like public floggings and now amputation of hands. Rough justice followed by abduction of citizens and extreme penal sanctions is neither Islamic nor acceptable in any civilized society,” the Commission said.

“HRCP urges all sections of society to condemn such inhuman acts of the Taliban and appeals to medical professionals to provide all possible assistance to the three victims of this flagrant abuse of human dignity. HRCP believes that such cruelty must be denounced in clear terms, without any concessions given to perpetrators who believe and practice extreme cruelty in the name of religion,” the HRCP statement said.

Asma Jahangir Chairperson