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PAKISTAN: A girl of 14 year was gang raped to take revenge from her father for nominating accused persons in a theft case

May 14, 2010

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-064-2010

14 May 2010
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PAKISTAN: A girl of 14 year was gang raped to take revenge from her father for nominating accused persons in a theft case

ISSUES: Rape; children; child rights; violence against women
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a 14 year-old girl was gang raped by armed men to punish her father for identifying them in a case of theft at his house. When the girl was being raped police in the vicinity heard her cries from a distance but did nothing to stop the assault because they knew that the rapists are armed. The assault continued until dawn when villagers arrived with weapons and attacked the accused persons.

None of the attackers were arrested and a protest over the incident is continuing. The local NGOs report that many of the accused persons have been seen fraternizing with the police.
 
CASE NARRATIVE: (According to information collected from press reports and local NGOs)

In the third week of April 2010 there was a theft at the house of Mr. Ghulam Shabbir, 40, a farmer and resident of village Bachal Leghari, Taluka Johi, district Dadu, Sindh province. Shabbir lodged a report to Johi police station mentioning the names of accused persons who attacked his house and stole valuable items. The police were reluctant to file a FIR (First Information Report) against the accused persons as they are notorious criminals and henchmen of the tribal chief of Jamali tribe, Mr. Dattal Jamali whose younger brother, Mr. Rafiq Jamali, is a federal minister. The accused persons threatened Shabbir many times and warned him to withdraw their names from the theft case otherwise he would face serious consequences.

On May 5 at about 12.30am the accused persons, Laiq Laghari, Hassan Laghari, Allah Ditto, Allah Dino, Mohammad Ayube Laghari, Mahboob Jamali and Mohammad Umar, along with some more persons arrived at Shabbir's house carrying firearms. They rounded up the members of Shabbir's family and started beating them. After 20 minutes the armed men abducted Shabbir's 14 year-old daughter and took her towards the desert area. The family members came out from house and shouted to get support from neighbourhood. The people gathered and tried to contact the Johi police station but were told that the station house officer (SHO) was not in the police station at the time. They were told to call back in the morning. The people then contacted a senior journalist, Mr. Akbar Laghari, who talked to high police officials on the phone. A police party under the station head officer (SHO) of Johi police station, Mr. Bakhshal Jamali, was sent to follow the accused persons along with the villagers.

After three to four kilometers from the village they found that the girl was being held on a rock surrounded by more than eight persons. They fired shots in the air to frighten off anyone from coming close to them. The cries of the girl during the rape could be heard by police and villagers but SHO Bakhshal had refused to take action and said to the villagers that they could do something when it was day light. The villagers then went to nearby a village and asked the people to help and also to bring whatever firearms they had with them. At around 4am on May 6, the villagers attacked the accused persons and rescued the girl but the perpetrators continued firing into the air as they ran away.

The Johi police refused to give a letter for a medical examination for rape which is a legal formality for the government hospital. Next day people from different villages protested and over the incident. They took the girl to the Dadu district government hospital for a medical examination. The medical was conducted and after two days a provisional certificate was issued which confirmed that she was raped by more than one person. But until now the hospital has not issued a final report as there was tremendous pressure from tribal chief and his younger brother, the minister of state.

The villagers and citizens of Dadu city went to the house of Mr. Rafiq Jamali, federal State minister and the younger brother of Dattal Jamali, the tribal chief of Jamali clan, who promised the protesters that he would help to arrest the perpetrators. However, on the instruction of his elder brother he immediately left the city without helping the victim and her family. They also protested at the office of the district police officer (DPO) who immediately suspended two assistant sub inspectors, Mr. Ehsan Soomro and Mr. Siddique Mallah, to cover up the whole situation against police inefficiency to stop the rape. Action against the police officers like deputy superintendent police (DPO), Mr. Allah Rakhio, SHO of Johi police station, Bakhshal Jamali, assistant sub inspector (ASI) Sain Rakhio was not taken as they are the relatives of minister and tribal chief.

To date not a single alleged rapist has been arrested and they are seen providing rides to police officials on their motor bikes. An FIR was also lodged in Johi police station on May 6, after the pressure from local journalists and NGOs. 
 

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the authorities to initiate enquiry in to the gang rape case of a 14-year-old girl, to take revenge to her father for accusing notorious criminals in a theft case. Please urge the authorities to arrest the alleged rapists and prosecute the police officials who are providing protection to the perpetrators in their crimes. Please also urge for compensation to the victim of rape and her family for their ordeal.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to UN special Rapporteur on the Question of violence against women calling for intervention into this case.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

Re: PAKISTAN: A girl of 14 years was gang raped to punish her father for nominating accused persons in a theft case

Name of the victim:
Ms Zulekha Laghari 14, daughter of Bachal Leghari, Taluka Johi, district Dadu, Sindh province, PAKISTAN
Name of alleged perpetrators:
1. Laiq Laghari,
2. Hassan Jamali,
3. Allah Ditto,
4. Allah Dino,
5. Mohammad Ayube Laghari,
6. Mahboob Jamali,
7. Mohammad Umar Jamali,
All are residents of  village Bachal Leghari,
Taluka Johi, district Dadu, Sindh province
PAKISTAN
8. Mr. Allah Rakhio,deputy superintendent police (DSP),
Taluka Johi, district Dadu, Sindh-PAKISTAN
9. Bakhshal Jamali, SHO,
Taluka Johi, district Dadu, Sindh-PAKISTAN
10. Sain Rakhio assistant sub inspector (ASI),
of Johi police station, Taluka Johi,
district Dadu, Sindh-PAKISTAN
Date of incident: May 5, 2010
Place of incident: Bachal Laghari, Taluka Johi, district Dadu, Sindh province.

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the gang rape of a 14 years old girl to take revenge from her father for nominating perpetrators in a case of theft. The police officials of Taluka Johi, district Dadu, are protecting the accused persons because of one federal state minister. The involvement of authorities to protect the perpetrators of gang rape is very much evident as the medical report of rape was still not been issued by the government hospital after passing many days. The rule of law was openly violated in the case of 14 year old girl by the powerful persons and police.

I am shocked to learn that in the third week of April 2010 there was a theft at the house of Mr. Ghulam Shabbir, 40, a farmer and resident of village Bachal Leghari, Taluka Johi, district Dadu, Sindh province. Shabbir lodged a report to Johi police station mentioning the names of accused persons who attacked his house and stole valuable items. The police were reluctant to file a FIR (First Information Report) against the accused persons as they are notorious criminals and henchmen of the tribal chief of Jamali tribe, Mr. Dattal Jamali whose younger brother, Mr. Rafiq Jamali, is a federal minister. The accused persons threatened Shabbir many times and warned him to withdraw their names from the theft case otherwise he would face serious consequences.

On May 5 at about 12.30am the accused persons, Laiq Laghar, Hassan Laghari, Allah Ditto, Allah Dino, Mohammad Ayube Laghari, Mahboob Jamali and Mohammad Umar, along with some more persons arrived at Shabbir's house carrying firearms. They rounded up the members of Shabbir's family and started beating them. After 20 minutes the armed men abducted Shabbir's 14 year-old daughter and took her towards the desert area. The family members came out from house and shouted to get support from neighbourhood. The people gathered and tried to contact the Johi police station but were told that the station house officer (SHO) was not in the police station at the time. They were told to call back in the morning. The people then contacted a senior journalist, Mr. Akbar Laghari, who talked to high police officials on the phone. A police party under the station head officer (SHO) of Johi police station, Mr. Bakhshal Jamali, was sent to follow the accused persons along with the villagers.

After three to four kilometers from the village they found that the girl was being held on a rock surrounded by more than eight persons. They fired shots in the air to frighten off anyone from coming close to them. The cries of the girl during the rape could be heard by police and villagers but SHO Bakhshal had refused to take action and said to the villagers that they could do something when it was day light. The villagers then went to nearby a village and asked the people to help and also to bring whatever firearms they had with them. At around 4am on May 6, the villagers attacked the accused persons and rescued the girl but the perpetrators continued firing into the air as they ran away.

The Johi police refused to give a letter for a medical examination for rape which is a legal formality for the government hospital. Next day people from different villages protested and over the incident. They took the girl to the Dadu district government hospital for a medical examination. The medical was conducted and after two days a provisional certificate was issued which confirmed that she was raped by more than one person. But until now the hospital has not issued a final report as there was tremendous pressure from tribal chief and his younger brother, the minister of state.

The villagers and citizens of Dadu city went to the house of Mr. Rafiq Jamali, federal State minister and the younger brother of Dattal Jamali, the tribal chief of Jamali clan, who promised the protesters that he would help to arrest the perpetrators. However, on the instruction of his elder brother he immediately left the city without helping the victim and her family. They also protested at the office of the district police officer (DPO) who immediately suspended two assistant sub inspectors, Mr. Ehsan Soomro and Mr. Siddique Mallah, to cover up the whole situation against police inefficiency to stop the rape. Action against the police officers like deputy superintendent police (DSP), Mr. Allah Rakhio, SHO of Johi police station, Bakhshal Jamali, assistant sub inspector (ASI) Sain Rakhio was not taken as they are the relatives of minister and tribal chief.

To date not a single alleged rapist has been arrested and they are seen providing rides to police officials on their motor bikes. An FIR was also lodged in Johi police station on May 6, after the pressure from local journalists and NGOs. 

The total absence of rule of law can be judged by the irresponsible attitude of the police when neighbours of the victims tried to contact Johi police station it was told to them that the station house officer (SHO) was not in the police station so they should contact in the morning. The people then contacted one senior journalist, Mr. Akbar Laghari, who talked to high police officials on the phone. A police party was under the station head officer (SHO) of Johi police station, Mr. Bakhshal Jamali, was sent to follow the accused persons along with villagers.

I am shocked to see the indifferent attitude of the police in not stopping the crime and allowing the accused persons to commit this crime in their presence.

It is really a shocking for me that the police in district Dadu are working under the tribal chief of Jamali clan and its henchmen who could not safe a girl from gang rape which was committed before them. The preference of the police of Johi was to appease tribal chief, Mr. Dattal Laghari and his younger brother, Rafiq Jamali, the minister of state rather then stopping the rape of a girl.

The act of gang rape of a girl before the police shows the total failure of rule of law before powerful people who are in the government and trying to run their own system of crimes through law enforcement agencies.

I urge you to initiate an enquiry into the gang rape case of a girl of 14 years and the nexus of police with the criminals for providing protection to the perpetrators. I also urge that the perpetrators should be arrested immediately and the prosecution of the police officials who are providing protection to the perpetrators in their crimes. Please provide compensation to the victim of rape and her family for their ordeal.
   
Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9221596
E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk 

2. Syed Qaim Ali Shah
Chief Minister
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 920 2000
E-mail: pppsindh@yahoo.com 

3. Mr.Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani
Federal Minister for Human Rights
Ministry of Human Rights
Old US Aid building
Ata Turk Avenue
G-5, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +9251-9204108
Email: sarfaraz_yousuf@yahoo.com 

4. Mr. Muhammad Ayaz Soomro
Minister for Law, Parliamantry Affairs & Criminal Prosecution Service
Sindh Assembly Building,
Court road, Karachi, Sindh province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9211982
E-mail: secy.law@sindh.gov.pk 

5. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
High Court Building
Saddar, Karachi
Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9213220
E-mail: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk 

6. Ms. Nadia Gabol
Minister for Human Rights
Government of Sindh,
Pakistan secretariat, Barrack 92,
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9207044
Tel:  +92 21 9207043  +92 21 9207043
E-mail: lukshmil@yahoo.com 

7. Dr. Faqir Hussain
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9213452
E-mail: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk 

8. Inspector General of Police
Police Head office, I. I. Chundrigar road
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9212051
E-mail: ppo.sindh@sindhpolice.gov.pk 

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia


Document Type :
Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID :
AHRC-UAC-064-2010
Countries :
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Extended Introduction: Urgent Appeals, theory and practice

A need for dialogue

Many people across Asia are frustrated by the widespread lack of respect for human rights in their countries.  Some may be unhappy about the limitations on the freedom of expression or restrictions on privacy, while some are affected by police brutality and military killings.  Many others are frustrated with the absence of rights on labour issues, the environment, gender and the like. 

Yet the expression of this frustration tends to stay firmly in the private sphere.  People complain among friends and family and within their social circles, but often on a low profile basis. This kind of public discourse is not usually an effective measure of the situation in a country because it is so hard to monitor. 

Though the media may cover the issues in a broad manner they rarely broadcast the private fears and anxieties of the average person.  And along with censorship – a common blight in Asia – there is also often a conscious attempt in the media to reflect a positive or at least sober mood at home, where expressions of domestic malcontent are discouraged as unfashionably unpatriotic. Talking about issues like torture is rarely encouraged in the public realm.

There may also be unwritten, possibly unconscious social taboos that stop the public reflection of private grievances.  Where authoritarian control is tight, sophisticated strategies are put into play by equally sophisticated media practices to keep complaints out of the public space, sometimes very subtly.  In other places an inner consensus is influenced by the privileged section of a society, which can control social expression of those less fortunate.  Moral and ethical qualms can also be an obstacle.

In this way, causes for complaint go unaddressed, un-discussed and unresolved and oppression in its many forms, self perpetuates.  For any action to arise out of private frustration, people need ways to get these issues into the public sphere.

Changing society

In the past bridging this gap was a formidable task; it relied on channels of public expression that required money and were therefore controlled by investors.  Printing presses were expensive, which blocked the gate to expression to anyone without money.  Except in times of revolution the media in Asia has tended to serve the well-off and sideline or misrepresent the poor.

Still, thanks to the IT revolution it is now possible to communicate with large audiences at little cost.  In this situation there is a real avenue for taking issues from private to public, regardless of the class or caste of the individual.

Practical action

The AHRC Urgent Appeals system was created to give a voice to those affected by human rights violations, and by doing so, to create a network of support and open avenues for action.  If X’s freedom of expression is denied, if Y is tortured by someone in power or if Z finds his or her labour rights abused, the incident can be swiftly and effectively broadcast and dealt with. The resulting solidarity can lead to action, resolution and change. And as more people understand their rights and follow suit, as the human rights consciousness grows, change happens faster. The Internet has become one of the human rights community’s most powerful tools.   

At the core of the Urgent Appeals Program is the recording of human rights violations at a grass roots level with objectivity, sympathy and competence. Our information is firstly gathered on the ground, close to the victim of the violation, and is then broadcast by a team of advocates, who can apply decades of experience in the field and a working knowledge of the international human rights arena. The flow of information – due to domestic restrictions – often goes from the source and out to the international community via our program, which then builds a pressure for action that steadily makes its way back to the source through his or her own government.   However these cases in bulk create a narrative – and this is most important aspect of our program. As noted by Sri Lankan human rights lawyer and director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, Basil Fernando:

"The urgent appeal introduces narrative as the driving force for social change. This idea was well expressed in the film Amistad, regarding the issue of slavery. The old man in the film, former president and lawyer, states that to resolve this historical problem it is very essential to know the narrative of the people. It was on this basis that a court case is conducted later. The AHRC establishes the narrative of human rights violations through the urgent appeals. If the narrative is right, the organisation will be doing all right."

Patterns start to emerge as violations are documented across the continent, allowing us to take a more authoritative, systemic response, and to pinpoint the systems within each country that are breaking down. This way we are able to discover and explain why and how violations take place, and how they can most effectively be addressed. On this path, larger audiences have opened up to us and become involved: international NGOs and think tanks, national human rights commissions and United Nations bodies.  The program and its coordinators have become a well-used tool for the international media and for human rights education programs. All this helps pave the way for radical reforms to improve, protect and to promote human rights in the region.