In the case of Uzma Ayub, repeatedly raped for one year by several policemen and one army serviceman, the police and perpetrators have requested the court to grant permission to settle the case outside the justice system. But Uzma, the 16-year-old victim refused and asserted her conviction that the perpetrators should be prosecuted according to the law. Uzma and her lawyer, Javed Akhter, pointed out that the perpetrators’ attempts to settle the case outside the court is tantamount to a confession, before the court, that they were involved in the rape. The court now should take action against them. The victim refuses to settle the case outside the court, the court should refuse such privileges to the perpetrators.
In a separate incident, on November 30, about 35 persons went to the house of Uzma. They claimed that they were sent by Pir Mohsin station house officer (SHO) Ameer Khan, Sub Inspector Hakeem Khan, Assistant Sub-Inspector of Takhte Nusrati police station and the perpetrators. They announced that they wanted to settle the incident. They told Uzma that they would pay her whatever compensation she required. Once more, the victim refused any offer of settlement. The delegation consisted of influential elders of the area who were forced by the police to pressure the victim for settlement. One day before, relatives of Hakim Khan, the main perpetrators, telephoned to Uzma and threatened her that if she did not repel her case she would face serious problems.
The AHRC is further informed that the provincial government is trying to tamper with the content of the report produced by the inquiry committee, which was headed by the provincial secretary of interior. The committee had recommended the arrest of the perpetrators of rape and abduction. The head of the committee told The News that the committee wanted to take further interviews with the victim’s father and her brother.
It is ironical that the provincial police, the government and the courts are trying to provide impunity to the perpetrators by delaying their arrest of perpetrators, including the soldier, and are forcing the victim to settle the case outside the judicial system. The whole state machinery of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkha (KP) is attempting to protect the perpetrators, perverting the justice system and making a mockery of the law. For the citizens of the province, this is an aberration and an inexplicable abuse of power.
The courage of the rape victim is admirable. It should be respected by the authorities. She stands to bring to an end heinous crimes perpetrated against girls and women. Her bravery is a slap on the face of those who are providing unlawful support to the rapists. Her courage and integrity should inspire the authorities to uphold the principles of justice and dignity she is fighting for, bring the perpetrators to justice and take all the measures in their possession to eradicate violence against women.
The AHRC wishes to draw your attention to the fact that human rights organisations from the KP province have opened an account to raise fund in support of the victim’s legal battle and birth of the child. Following is the account details:
Noor Education Trust – Donation A/c # 022479002497 – 03. Habib Bank Limited.
Swift # habbpkka 224. Routing # 026007809
The Asian Human Rights Commission stands by the victim’s fight for justice and dignity of women in Pakistan. The AHRC appeals to the philanthropists, social organisations and NGOs to assist in gathering funds to support her legitimate call for justice. You can find our previous call to the civil society: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-164-2011