PAKISTAN: Brother of a teenage pregnant rape victim was murdered in the court premises-a complete failure of rule of law 

The brother of a rape victim, Alamzeb Khattak, 25, a was shot dead on Friday, December 9, in the court premises of Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkha province allegedly by relatives of police officials who were involved in the rape of a teenage girl. Uzma Ayub was repeatedly raped whilst being held captive by an army soldier and three police officials during an entire year is currently eight months pregnant.

The alleged killers were Ibrahim, the brother of main perpetrator assistant sub inspector of police, ASI Hakeem Khan, along with his driver Pir Abdul Waheed, was named by Zafranullah, a brother of the deceased, who saw the killing on the Takht Nusrati court premises.

At the time of incident, three police officials, including Inspector Peer Mohsin Shah, Sub-Inspector Ameer Muhammad and Assistant Sub-Inspector Hakeem Khan and another accused Qamar Ali, allegedly involved in the rape of Uzma Ayub, were produced before the court of civil judge Takht Nusrati Mr. Asif Iqbal and their plea of bails were cancelled. Uzma’s elder brother was coming out of the court after the hearing when the said armed assailants opened indiscriminate fire, killing him on the spot. He added that about 5-6 police officials were shot at him but nobody stopped the killers, who escaped safely.

The killing took place days after the victim, Uzma Ayub, had rejected an out-of-court deal offered by the accused police officers. On December 6, she had claimed that about 30-40 elders from ASI Hakeem Khan’s area Gudikhel, including MPA Shah Abdul Aziz, had come to her house on November 2 and told her brother Alamzeb that Hakeem Khan, Pir Mohsin Shah and Ameer Khan had confessed of their crime before them and were ready to accept the aggrieved family’s demands.

Younger brother of Uzma, Zafranullah, said that after coming out of the court, Alamzeb, his deceased elder brother, asked him to take their mother home and that he would tell him about the hearing later. “When Alamzeb was about to ride his motorbike, a car hit him and Alamzeb tried to run away, but Pir Abdul Waheed, the driver, held him and Ibrahim, the brother of Sub Inspector Hakeem Khan, shot him on his head and chest. Alamzeb was sprayed with five bullets.” He told to the daily the News reporter Farzana Khan that he and his mother Bilqees Begum had left for the court in the morning and when they reached there, they found about 50 persons present on the premises of the court as supporters of Hakeem Khan from Gudikkhel area and protesting against the hearing afterwards.
The car that hit Alamzeb was a theft car having slate colour with fake registration number of 899, and was in the use of District Police Officer, the highest ranking police officer of the district, Sajid Mohmand, which was being used to bring the perpetrators from the jail.

The rape victim was receiving threats calls from the police officials and Taliban to withdraw the case against the police officials and army soldier. Just three days before the incident of murder around 35 persons were sent by the Takhte Nusrati police station to the house of rape victim and pressured her family to withdraw case and accept the compensation which she refused. The people threatened the victim’s family of dire consequences. A call of Sub inspector Hakeem Khan from jail

was also received by the victim in which he categorically warned the mother of victims saying that “I am anyway in jail, but soon Bilqees Begum (Uzma’s mother) will receive a gift from me.” Please find the links about the threats she was receiving;
The Asian Human rights Commission, the local rights bodies and the family victims had informed the provincial government and police about the security threats to the family of the victims but these were totally ignored. One of the causes of ignoraing the threat call by the government is that KP government never has shown any concern about the violence against women. Its members of parliament are also totally ignorant of the situation which rape victim was facing because of the so called “Pakhtun customs” according to which the women should have to remain as the secondary citizen in their society. The provincuial government always calls itself secular but when the question of viplence against women comes its attitude is no more different from the Taliban. This is the province where still the women are being stoned to death in open places on the accusation of adultery. In latest bye elections the political parties including the ruling party have reached to an agreement wherein it was declared that women can not cast the votes.

The killing raised serious questions about the security provided to the young rape victim and her family, specially after three police officials were arrested for the crime. The daylight murder also confirmed fears raised by numerous human rights organisations about Uzma’s safety.

The killing of the brother of the rape victim is the clear demonstration of failure of rule of law in the KP province where the victim was killed in court premises in the presence of not less than 50 policemen and many staff members of the courts. The rule of law is generally undermined in the province by the law enforcement authorities and ruling party. For the government and ruling party such incidents are the part of daily routine. The security of the citizens is also not the issue of the government and ruling parties. The highest crime rates against the women are recorded in the KP province.

The Asian Human Rights Commission deplores the murder of the bother of the rape victim who was all about supporting his sister as against the Pakhtun traditions where the women are generally blamed for such crimes and the ruling party always takes out its hands from such cases because of involvement of women considering the women are the mother of all crimes.

The AHRC urges the federal government and members of the parliament to take strong action against the incident and constitute an impartial inquiry not involving the provincial government who is also part of the bloody incident and prosecute the police officials who were complicit in the murder of the incident. There are chances that before the delivery of the child the rape victim, Uzma Ayub, would be made target by the perpetrators with the help of provincial authorities to eliminate the evidences of heinous crime of rape of a teenage in the custody of police officials and one army soldier for one year. If any harm is done to the Uzma the provincial government and ruling party would the responsible for such crime.

The killers of Alamzeb must be arrested immediately and the facilities including mobile phone and A class comforts in the jail must be withdrawn immediately and jail authorities be prosecuted for providing facilities against the jail manuals.