Home / News / Urgent Appeals / PAKISTAN: The daughter and son-in-law of the chief minister of Punjab must be arrested and prosecuted for torturing and abducting a sweeper

PAKISTAN: The daughter and son-in-law of the chief minister of Punjab must be arrested and prosecuted for torturing and abducting a sweeper

October 16, 2012

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-183-2012

16 October 2012
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PAKISTAN: The daughter and son-in-law of the chief minister of Punjab must be arrested and prosecuted for torturing and abducting a sweeper

ISSUES: Torture; abduction; misuse of power; illegal arrest; arbitrary detention; impunity; rule of law
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the daughter and son-in-law of the Chief Minister of Punjab province entered a bakery near its closing time and severely tortured the sweeper with the help of police officials for not entertaining the daughter. The police refused to file a case for almost one week and it was only after the news broke through the social and electronic media that the chief minister took notice. Only the driver of the son-in-law and one police constable has been arrested.

The daughter of the chief minister is well known for her aggression and beating people who annoy her. She was also involved in the severe beating of an actress who claimed to be the wife of her elder brother. The police of the province cannot take any action against her as her father comes to her rescue.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Mrs. Rabia Imran, the daughter of the chief minister of Punjab province and allegedly a known lady gangster of the province, visited the Sweet Tooth bakery situated in T-Market, Defence, Lahore, capital of Punjab province in the noon on October 7, 2012 and demanded a cake. There was one sweeper who was cleaning the shop and he informed her that shop was closed and, as he was only the sweeper, he could not help her. At this moment she got angry and started threatening him that she knew how to deal with such situations. She also informed him that she is the daughter of Mr. Shahbaz Shareef, the chief minister of the province and she can do anything. At this moment some employees of the shop reached the scene and told her that she might visit after 3 pm, as the bakery was closed and employees were busy in cleaning it. However, it infuriated the woman, and two persons, who appeared to be guards, came in and abused an employee, Irfan. They also threatened his life.

Please watch the video of her aggressive and threatening behaviour and also the beating of bakery’s employee by her husband and policemen which was caught in the CCTV. Cameras were installed in and outside the shop. The video is courtesy of www.dailymotion.com; http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xuayn7_cctv-lahore-bakery-beating_news.
CCTV Lahore Bakery Beating 发布人 dm_507961a344f8b

AHRC-UAC-183-2012-01.pngShe was in a yellow dress with a white scarf and in her right hand there was a cell phone to which she was continuously sending messages to unknown persons. During the threats and abusive language from Ms Rabia, her driver and one guard entered the bakery and also started threatening the employees, particularly the sweeper whom she threatened to sexually abuse through the police and her gangsters. She remained in the shop for some time during which she continued to use very filthy language that even the men around her avoided using.

At around 6.30 in the evening three persons in plain clothe including her husband Imran and his personal guards came with men in police uniform who were from ‘Elite force” a special force which was said to be the personal force of the chief minister that uses it for police encounters. The whole video clip is self explanatory that shows the son-in-law beating and kicking the sweeper and asking the policemen to abduct him in a police van. The victim was taken to an unknown place and after some hours he was thrown on the footpath of the bakery in serious condition. He body showed signs of severe torture and he received internal injuries which has affected his ability to pass urine.

The son-in-law is using the police force for his personal business although he is not a government employee or in any official position. The daughter is a well known gangster of the province and does this type of activity routinely. She is thought off in the province as the militant daughter of the chief minister. She also allegedly beat an actress, Ayesha Ahad, when she demanded her right as a wife of her brother. But no action has been taken even after the police case was filed against Rabia.

The provincial government and police avoided registering the case against her and the other attackers until the case received much popularity from the social media. The so-called independent electronic media also remained silent for a week because of their close links with the chief minister who is well known for providing perks and privileges to the media men and anchorpersons. After the breakthrough from the social media and a strong protest from society about the silence of the independent media the news was taken up at the national hookup.

The chief minister took the action on October 15 eight days after the incident but has not ordered the filing of a criminal case against his daughter and her husband who were involved in the attack and misusing their position with the chief minister.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write the letters to the following authorities calling on them to arrest and prosecute the daughter and son-in-law of the chief minister of Punjab province for attacking, beating, torturing and keeping a sweeper of the bakery in illegal confinement. Please also urge the authorities to take strong action against the policemen involved in the case and also prosecute the station head officer of the Defence police station for not performing his duty according to law and refusing to file a case against the perpetrators. The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture calling for his intervention into this matter.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

PAKISTAN: The daughter and son-in-law of the chief minister of Punjab must be arrested and prosecuted for torturing and abducting a sweeper

Name of victim: Mr. Irfan, Sweeper and employee of Sweet Tooth bakery situated in T-Market, Defence, Lahore, capital of Punjab province

Names of alleged perpetrators:
1. Ms. Rabia Imran, daughter of Chief Minister of Punjab province
2. Mr. Imran, son-in-law of chief minister of Punjab
3. Personals from Elite force of Punjab and deputed as the guard of son in law of chief minister
4. The Station House Officer of Defence police station, Lahore, Punjab

Date of incident: 7 October 2012
Place of incident: T block Defence society, Lahore, Punjab

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the violent attack of a sweeper, the employee of a bakery at the instigation of the daughter of chief minister of Punjab province. The sweeper was tortured, abducted and kept in illegal detention by the woman's husband along with the policemen from Elite force in uniforms. The victim was severely tortured and received internal injuries. The local administration of Punjab is threatening the owner and employees for pursuing the case of daughter of chief minister to the media and making is public.

I believe that it is shocking that after learning of the illegal actions his daughter the chief minister has not ordered her arrest. The police force is waiting for his instructions and had failed to follow the process of the law. The question must be asked: is the police force the private institution of the chief ministers or are they mandated to serve the people?

I was appalled to learn that Mrs. Rabia Imran, the daughter of the chief minister of Punjab province and allegedly a known lady gangster of the province, visited the Sweet Tooth bakery situated in T-Market, Defence, Lahore, capital of Punjab province in the noon on October 7, 2012 and demanded a cake. There was one sweeper who was cleaning the shop and he informed her that shop was closed and, as he was only the sweeper, he could not help her. At this moment she got angry and started threatening him that she knew how to deal with such situations. She also informed him that she is the daughter of Mr. Shahbaz Shareef, the chief minister of the province and she can do anything. At this moment some employees of the shop reached the scene and told her that she might visit after 3 pm, as the bakery was closed and employees were busy in cleaning it. However, it infuriated the woman, and two persons, who appeared to be guards, came in and abused an employee, Irfan. They also threatened his life.

Please watch the video of her aggressive and threatening behaviour and also the beating of bakery’s employee by her husband and policemen which was caught in the CCTV. Cameras were installed in and outside the shop. The video is courtesy of www.dailymotion.com; http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xuayn7_cctv-lahore-bakery-beating_news.

Mrs. Rabia Imran was in a yellow dress with a white scarf and in her right hand there was a cell phone to which she was continuously sending messages to unknown persons. During the threats and abusive language from Ms Rabia, her driver and one guard entered the bakery and also started threatening the employees, particularly the sweeper whom she threatened to sexually abuse through the police and her gangsters. She remained in the shop for some time during which she continued to use very filthy language that even the men around her avoided using.

In a daring action later in the day at around 6.30 in the evening three persons in plain clothe including her husband Imran and his personal guards came with men in police uniform who were from ‘Elite force” a special force which was said to be the personal force of the chief minister that uses it for police encounters. The whole video clip is self explanatory that shows the son-in-law beating and kicking the sweeper and asking the policemen to abduct him in a police van. The victim was taken to an unknown place and after some hours he was thrown on the footpath of the bakery in serious condition. He body showed signs of severe torture and he received internal injuries which has affected his ability to pass urine.

It is unacceptable that the son-in-law is using the police force for his personal business although he is not a government employee or in any official position. The daughter is a well known gangster of the province and does this type of activity routinely. She is thought off in the province as the militant daughter of the chief minister. She also allegedly beat an actress, Ayesha Ahad, when she demanded her right as a wife of her brother. But no action has been taken even after the police case was filed against Rabia.

The provincial government and police avoided registering the case against her and the other attackers until the case received much popularity from the social media. The so-called independent electronic media also remained silent for a week because of their close links with the chief minister who is well known for providing perks and privileges to the media men and anchorpersons. After the breakthrough from the social media and a strong protest from society about the silence of the independent media the news was taken up at the national hookup.

It is also unacceptable that the chief minister only took the action on October 15 eight days after the incident but has not ordered the filing of a criminal case against his daughter and her husband who were involved in the attack and misusing their position with the chief minister.

We call upon your to order the arrest and prosecution of the daughter and son-in-law of the chief minister of Punjab province for attacking, beating, torturing and keeping a sweeper of the bakery in illegal confinement. Please also urge the relevant authorities to take strong action against the policemen involved in the case and also prosecute the station head officer of the Defence police station for not performing his duty according to law and refusing to file a case against the perpetrators.

We look forward to your urgent intervention is this matter.

Yours sincerely,

----------------
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
President's Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92-51-9204801-9214171
Fax: +92-51-9207458
Email: publicmail@president.gov.pk

2. Mr. Raja Pervez Ashraf
Prime Minister
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111
E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk or pspm@pmsectt.gov.pk

3. Federal Minister for Human Rights
Ministry of Human Rights
Old US Aid building
Ata Turk Avenue
G-5, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 9204108
Email: sarfraz_yousuf@yahoo.com

4. Mr. Lateef Khosa
Governor of Punjab
Governor House
Mall Road
Lahore
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 99203044
Email: governor.sectt@punjab.gov.pk

5. Mr. Justice Sh Azmat Saeed
Chief Justice of Punjab Province
Lahore High Court
Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Lahore
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 42 99212951-66
Fax: +92 42 99212279
Email: webmasterlhc@lhc.gov.pk

6. Mr. Shahbaz Shareef
Chief Minister
Government of Punjab
Province
Chief Minister
Secretariat
5-Club Road
GOR-I, Lahore, Punnjab
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 99205065
Email: cmcomplaintcell@cmpunjab.gov.pk

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

8. Mr. Rana Sana Ullah
Minister of Law
Government of Punjab
Punjab Secretariat
Ravi Road
Lahore
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 99212004
E-mail: law@punjab.gov.pk

9. Mr. Muhammad Ashraf
Director General
Punjab Fisheries,
2 Sanada Road Lahore, Punjab
PAKISTAN
10. Inspector-General of Police, Punjab
Police Head Office, Lahore, Punjab province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 9921006


Thank you.

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

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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.