Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 21:49:16 +0800 [07:19PM IST]
From: AHRC Urgent Appeals <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: PAKISTAN: Three more women allegedly buried in same way as five women buried in Balochistan
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-215-2008
26 September 2008
PAKISTAN: Three more women allegedly buried in same way as five women buried in Balochistan
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is shocked to learn that three more women have been buried alive in Balochistan province, a few days after they protested against the live burial of five women taking place in the same province (AHRC-UAC-182-2008
<http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2008/2969/>). One prime perpetrator of the murder has not been seen since he was taken into police custody. It is reported that he and seven other men involved are under the protection of the provincial minister Mr. Sadiq Umrani--the brother of the main suspect.
According to information received, the three women had spoken out in the case of the live burial of five women (please refer to AHRC-UAC-182-2008
<http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2008/2969/>). They were allegedly abducted by Mr. Abdul Sattar Umrani--the younger brother of the provincial minister--and other thugs, including a head constable of police. It is reported that the three women were also buried alive using the same tractor as in the case of the first five women. The women were from Teendah and Mirwah villages in Naseerabad (names withheld for security reasons of their family members). As of now, the number of women who have been buried rises to eight in the area.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Umrani, the head constable of police and bodyguard to Abdul Sattar Umrani, has still not been arrested and continues serving as a personal bodyguard.
It is reported that suspects are hiding under the protection of the provincial minister, Mr. Sadiq Umrani. The alleged main perpetrator, Mr. Mohammed Murad, Nazim (chief) of Union Consul Garhi Raman—the owner of the tractor--was taken into police custody last week. He was handed over to the crime branch of the Balochistan police, who deny that he was handed over. It is believed that he too is now under provincial protection.
Detailed information has been obtained regarding an earlier case in which Mr. Abdul Sattar Umrani was involved (AHRC-STM-234-2008
In this case, he forcibly occupied the land of Haji Bulab Palali in Moza Tharoo, Babakot, and gave the house to his brother, at the same time that his brother became provincial of housing in May 2008. It caused armed fighting between the two parties and one man from the Umrani side, Mr. Abdul Fateh Bangal, was killed.
In an act of revenge for Bangal's death, Umrani's side attacked Haji's house together with Mr. Mohammed Murad. During the assault they killed eight people including the wife of Haji and his four sons.
After the killings took place, Mr. Nadir Magsi, minister of Sindh province held a Jirga that decided upon a fine of Rs. 10 million (around USD 150,000) against Abdul Sattar Umrani. He made a payment of Rs. 1 million for the murder of each person and 2 million rupees
for dishonoring the sanctity of another's house by attacking it. However, the police have not yet instigated an investigation or made any effort to arrest those responsible.
Please also refer to an open letter to Dr. Yakin Erturk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women sent by the Asian Human Rights Commission concerning the burying alive of five women.
The courts of Pakistan, including the Supreme Court and the Sindh High Court, have declared the Jirga as illegal and unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, it is still a common practice in feudal and tribal
based areas (please refer to our previous appeals: AHRC-UAC-193-2008
The Government of Pakistan has not taken any positive action to eliminate discrimination against women. By allowing the illegal Jirga system to continue they are turning a blind eye to the grave inconsistencies in the judiciary system in Pakistan.
Please write an appeal to the following authorities demanding the arrest of the real perpetrators and an independent enquiry into the continuous burial alive of women by persons in power.
Please be informed that the AHRC has also written letters to the UN
Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women calling for an intervention in this case.
To support this appeal, please click here:
Details of victims: They were from Teendah and Mirwah villages in Naseerabad (their identities withheld for security reason)
Name of alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Abdul Sattar Umrani, residing at Usta Mohammad city, Jaffarabad District, Balochistan province
2. Mr. Fateh Mohammad Umrani, city Nazim (chief) of Naseerabad District, Balochistan province
3. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Umrani, head constable of police and security guard to Abdul Sattar Umrani, Jaffarabad District, Balochistan province
4. Mr. Mohammed Murad, Union Council Nazim (chief) of UC Garhi Rehman, Jaffarabad District, Balochistan province and his six accomplices
Place of incident: Village Baba Kot police station, Jafferabad
I am shocked to learn about another case of burying women alive under the name of honour killings, even after I appealed to you earlier about the five women who were buried alive.
According to the information that I have received, those three women openly discussed the killings, spoke against the tribal customs and protested against the live burial of five women taking place in the same province. They were also buried alive using the same tractor as in the case of the five women, after being allegedly abducted by Mr.
Abdul Sattaar Umrani--the younger brother of the provincial minister--and other thugs, including a head constable of police, who are also main perpetrators of the earlier five women's burial case.
It looks to me as if power politics in the area are directly challenging the written orders of the courts on killing and burying women. The government's adherence to self-serving means has afforded the wrongdoers additional space in which to perpetrate atrocities and act with impunity.
I therefore urge you to investigate this case so that those responsible are properly prosecuted and punished according to law. I also urge you to monitor the investigation process so that the horror of burying alive and killing women comes to an end. I further urge you to arrest the people in power who are responsible for these crimes without any political considerations.
I take this opportunity to remind you of the fact that the Supreme Court has already declared the Jirga as illegal and unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, it is still a common practice in feudal and tribal based areas. Finally, I urge you to take active actions to eliminate the Jirga system so that women are no longer victimized by the system, which is inconsistent in the judiciary system in Pakistan.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
Fax: +92 51 922 1422, 4768/ 920 1893 or 1835
2. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani
Prime Minister House, Islamabad,
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111
E-mail: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
3. Mr. Rehman Malik
Advisor for Ministry of Interior
Room No. 404, 4th Floor, R Block,
Fax: +92 51 920 2624
Tel: +92 51 921 2026
E-mail: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
4. Mr. Farooq Naik
Minister of Law, Justice and Human Rights
S Block Pakistan Secretariat
Fax: +92 51 920 2628
E-mail: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or
5. Nawab Aslam Raisani
Chief Minister of Balochistan
Chief Minister House, Quette,
Fax: +92 81 920 2240
Tel: +92 81 449582 / 440661
E-mail: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
6. Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi
Governor of Balochistan
Governor House Balochistan,
Quetta- Balochistan province,
Fax: +92 81 920 2992
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>)
Asian Human Rights Commission
19/F, Go-Up Commercial Building,
998 Canton Road, Kowloon, Hongkong S.A.R.
Tel: +(852) - 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) - 2698-6367