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A human rights defender booked on murder charges: Send your letters


Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a human rights defender, who belongs to the Kohli group, a scheduled caste Hindu, was booked in a murder case whereas on the day of murder of a land grabber he was 500 kilometers away. He was attending a daylong conference of the civil society on the issue of Eighteenth amendment in the constitution and provincial autonomy. In 2010 he was abducted by the land grabbers who were also involved allegedly in the rape of a 17 years old Dalit girl. He was severely beaten during his captivity and was intimidated for raising his voice for the rights of the Dalits who have been bonded labourers for decades.

The police and a provincial minister are providing protection to the perpetrators. The provincial minister is allegedly involved in grabbing the land where the precious China Clay was found.

CASE NARRATIVE:

On May 20, 6:00 am, a group of land grabbers attacked a village of Vishnoo Kolhi, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province and opened firing directly at the villagers to vacate their houses, seriously injuring four persons; Mr. Eshwar, Mr. Mohan, Mr. Hari, and Mr. Kombho who received bullet wounds. After heavy firing the villagers came out to defend the women and children and captured a few accused from whom they confiscated their guns which they later handed over to the police. The attackers names are Salah Shoro, Luqman Shoro, Mataro Shoro, Shafique Shoro, Rahib Shoro, Ranjho Shoro, Qadir Shoro Akbar Shoro, came to rescue his partners and in such circumstance one attacker, Saleh Shoro, was injured. He was taken away by the attackers and they escaped. He later died.

Instead of filing the cases of attacking villagers with deadly weapons and injuring villagers, police filed the case of murder against those persons who were residing 500 kilometers away from the place of the incident. Mr. Veerji Kolhi was among the persons who were booked on murder charges. Veerji is a prominent human rights defender and works with ASHAA and Mehargarh organizations, particularly on the issue of bonded labour. He has obtained the release of many women, children and men from the feudal lords of the district where there is a sizeable number from Kolhi community reside.

The other persons who were booked on charges of murder are Mr. Naboo Kohli, father of a 17 year old Dalit, who was raped by four persons who were released on bail before arrest by the session court, Mithi, though being a heinous case the bail before arrest cannot be granted without a proper investigation. Please see the urgent appeal Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-027-2010. Mr. Lakhan Kohli, the eye witness of the rape of the girl, Mr. Damro Kolhi, the uncle of Veerji, were also booked in the murder case.

Veerji was then abducted by the land grabbers in August 2010 and kept for several days and was severely tortured. He was told by the abductors not to pursue the case of rape of 17 years old Kastoori, a Dalit girl, and disassociate himself from the movement against the land grabbing. In the case of a young Hindu abducted from the police station by a religious mob (Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-097-2011) Veerji was among the activists who provided shelter to him when young Hindu ran away from the custody of abductor after nine months of captivity by the Muslim leaders of the Madina Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh. Veerji used to be a bonded labourer, indentured with his family to a landlord, who design debts that can never be repaid and hold people hostage for labour in lieu of payment. He escaped as a teenager and found the resources to free his family. Since then, he has worked tirelessly for the cause of bonded labourers. From Nagarparkar, one of the poorest and most deprived districts of Pakistan in Thar Desert, he is a low caste Hindu, but from the towering caste of those who gives hope.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The land of nearby Nagarparkar area has been the property of Kolhi community for centuries. Recently some tribes started digging the soil of Kolhi community to transport precious clay to urban areas. The local Kolhi community observed several processions and demonstrations for this injustice. But the Shoro and Khoso tribe people supported by influential started threating Kolhis and started occupying lands of Kolhis. Same threats received to Vishnoo Kolhi of Village Bandhi some 12 kilometers away from Nagarparkar to leave the village otherwise they will kill him and all the villagers. Durga Mata temple is one of the two temples where the Hindus always go and pay their respects on this day, making it a significant part of their religion. According to him, around 200,000 pilgrims flock to the temple for the festival. Although the digging stopped while the mela continued, the pilgrims were dismayed at the project.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write the letters to the authorities about the false case of murder against a human rights defender and the father and other relatives of a rape victim who were residing 500 kilometers far from the incident of murder. Please urge the authorities to with draw the case of murder against them and take stern action against the local police who acted on the powerful land grabbers for filing the false cases against the innocent persons. Please also urge them initiate the inquiry into the land grabbing of Hindu Dalit population who are residing there since centuries.

The AHRC writes a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders calling for her intervention into this matter.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

PAKISTAN: A human rights defender was booked on murder charges for raising the cases of scheduled caste Hindus

Name of victims:
1.Mr. Veerji Kolhi,
Coordinator Mehergarh, house number, 11/150 Street 1 Abdullah City Qasimabad,
Hyderabad, Sindh
2. Mr. Naboo Kohli
3. Mr. Lakhan Kohli
4. Damro Kolhi,
All are the resident of Abdullah City Qasimabad, Hyderabad, Sindh
5. Mr. Eshwar,
6. Mr. Mohan,
7. Mr. Hari,
8. Mr. Kombho
All are resident of Vishnoo Kolhi goth, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province,

Names of alleged perpetrators:
1.Saleh Shoro,
2. Luqman Shoro,
3. Mataro Shoro,
4. Shafique Shoro,
5. Rahib Shoro,
6. Ranjho Shoro,
7. Qadir Shoro
8. Akbar Shoro
All are resident of Nagarparker, district Tharparker, Sindh province
Date of incident: May 20, 2010
Place of incident: Vishnoo Kolhi goth, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the registration of a false case of murder against a human rights defender and other persons who are from the Hindu scheduled cast of Dalit.

According to my information that on May 20, 6:00 am, a group of land grabbers attacked a village of Vishnoo Kolhi, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province and opened firing directly at the villagers to vacate to the houses, seriously injuring four persons; Mr. Eshwar, Mr. Mohan, Mr. Hari, and Mr. Kombho who received bullet wounds. After heavy firing the villagers came out to defend the women and children and captured a few accused and took away two guns which they later handed over to the police. The attackers names are Salah Shoro, Luqman Shoro, Mataro Shoro, Shafique Shoro, Rahib Shoro, Ranjho Shoro, Qadir Shoro Akbar Shoro, came to rescue his partners and in such circumstance one attacker, Saleh Shoro, was injured and was taken away by the attackers and they escaped but died later.

It is shocking for me that instead of filing the cases of attacking villagers with deadly weapons and injuring villagers, police filed the case of murder against those persons who were residing 500 kilometers away from the place of incident. Mr. Veerji Kolhi was among the persons who were booked on Murder charges. Veerji is a prominent human rights defender and work with ASHAA and Mehargarh organizations and working on the issue of bonded labour and got released many women, children and men from the feudal lords of the district where the a sizeable number from Kolhi community reside.

I am appalled to know that the other persons who were booked on charges of murder are Mr. Naboo Kohli, father of 17 years old Dalit, who was raped by four persons who were released on bail before arrest by session court, Mithi, though being a heinous case the bail before arrest cannot be granted without a proper investigation. Please see the urgent appeal Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-027-2010. Mr. Lakhan Kohli, the eye witness of the rape of the girl, Mr. Damro Kolhi, the uncle of Veerji, were also booked in the murder case.

I am further informed that Veerji was then abducted by the land grabbers in August 2010 and kept for several days and was severely tortured. He was told by the abductors not to pursue the case of rape of 17 years old Kastoori, a Dalit girl, and disassociate himself from the movement against the land grabbing. In the case of a young Hindu abducted from the police station by a religious mob (Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-097-2011) Veerji was among the activists who provided shelter to him when young Hindu ran away from the custody of abductor after nine months of captivity by the Muslim leaders of the Madina Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh. Veerji used to be a bonded labourer, indentured with his family to a landlord, who design debts that can never be repaid and hold people hostage for labour in lieu of payment. He escaped as a teenager and found the resources to free his family. Since then, he has worked tirelessly for the cause of bonded labourers. From Nagarparkar, one of the poorest and most deprived districts of Pakistan in Thar Desert, he is a low caste Hindu, but from the towering caste of those who gives hope.

I urge you to take the stern action against the Nagarparker police, Tharparker police station, Sindh province, for acting on behalf of the land grabbers and filing false case of murder against a human rights defenders and others who are already victim of the powerful people of the area in the case of a rape of a Dalit girl in 2010.

Please also withdraw the false case of murder and initiate inquiry in to the case of land grabbing in the Nagarparker where the scheduled caste Hindus are living since centuries and they are illegally displaced by force for excavating the precious China clay.

I therefore, urge you to take immediate and proper steps against the perpetrators.

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

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

4. 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

5. 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

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

7. 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
E-mail: lukshmil@yahoo.com

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

9. 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.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Hindus, Petitions

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Appeal: Muslim leaders who issued decree to kill a Christian woman should be prosecuted


Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission received information that Muslim fundamentalist and extremist groups have advocated publicly that a Christian lady, Aasia Bibi, sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws should not be pardoned even though her pardon was awarded by a session court on the instigation of Muslim religious leadership. Some have offered a cash reward for Aasia’s assassination. Since the introduction of 295-C to the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) by a military dictator in 1986, dozens of persons from religious minority groups have been killed or lynched by mobs. Pakistan’s courts have also proved themselves biased on blasphemy law.

Throughout Pakistan, wall chalking and graffiti declare support for killing Aasia, call for death to Aasia, and declare support for blasphemy law. A high profile campaign has also started in the private media channels against reforming the blasphemy law, and participants use filthy words against those persons who are advocating amendment of section 295-C of the PPC.

Please sign the appeal urging the authorities to pardon Aasia and abolish the amendments in blasphemy law. The religious minorities should be given full protection from the misuse of blasphemy law.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Aasia Bibi, 45, a Christian and mother of five, was sentenced to death by a local court in Nankana district, Punjab province, on charges of committing blasphemy. Ms Bibi’s case dates back to June 2009, when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields and a group of Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she should not touch the water bowl. This resulted in exchange of hot words between her and Muslim women against each others’ religious beliefs. Five days after the incident, a local Muslim leader, Qari Salim, jumped into the matter and pressured some people in the area to claim that she committed blasphemy.

When finding no way to get Ms. Bibi to confess, Salim used the loudspeakers of the mosque, as other Muslim leaders usually do in the cases of alleged blasphemy acts, to spread the news of blasphemy and instigate the people of the locality to punish the alleged blasphemer. The people of the locality beat her severely in the presence of her children. The local police came and took her into protective custody, but at the police station the crowd under the leadership of Qari Salim pressured the police to file a charge of blasphemy against her and arrest her for desecrating the last prophet of Islam (peace be upon him).

On November 1, 2010, 16 months after her arrest, the court pronounced a death sentence on charges of committing blasphemy. The judge totally ruled out in his judgment any chance that Aasia was falsely implicated; he said that there were no mitigating circumstances. His comment in his verdict shows that he knew that it was a weak case and that people will oppose his judgment giving a death sentence to a woman in a blasphemy case for the first time in the history of Pakistan. According to the reports, the court relied on the witnesses provided by the Muslim leader of the mosque and Christians were not allowed to produce witnesses. The judge also did not know that according to the 2004 amendment to blasphemy law the investigation of any blasphemy charges should be conducted by an officer who is at least a Superintendent of Police (SP). In the case of Aasia, all the investigation was done by a low rank officer, the Assistant Sub-Inspector.

It has been found that Pakistan’s judges, from the lower courts to the highest courts, are eager to get popularity through their verdicts and comments during the hearing. When the chief justice of the Lahore High Court stopped the government from withdrawing the case of blasphemy against Aasia on the assumption that president of Pakistan would withdraw the case, Ms. Asma Jehangir, the president of Supreme Court Bar Association told the judges that if they want to get popularity through their judgment then they should do some other job rather than being a judge. The judiciary’s attitude towards the blasphemy law is no different than that of ordinary Muslim leaders. When the Chief Justice implored the government not to pardon the sentence, another bench of the same court also asked the government not to amend the blasphemy law.

It is also evident that those persons responsible for extra-judicial killings of persons accused of blasphemy will never be punished by the courts because of the biases of the courts and because of the lengthy period of trial during which witnesses were pressured by the militant groups.

A prominent Muslim leader, Maulana Yousef Qureshi, a hard line Pakistani Islamic cleric, told a rally in the north-western town of Peshawar that his mosque would give Rs. 0.5 million ($6,000 US dollars) to anyone who kills Aasia Bibi. The Maulana is the leader of Mosque Mahabat Khan, the biggest in the Khyber Pakhtoon Kha province. His announcement was carried by all electronic and print media, yet the government has not taken any legal action against Maulana for inciting people to kill extra judicially. Muslim religious groups all over the Pakistan are holding protest meetings in large numbers, instructing followers that there should be no compromise if the government or courts pardon Aasia’s death sentence.

The governor of Punjab, who met Aasia in jail after her sentence and assured her that he would take her case before the president of Pakistan, advocating to pardon her. However, the Lahore high court suddenly stopped the process and said before the decision of the court that the government cannot do such a thing. All the religious groups and parties maligned the governor as he is violating the basic teachings of Islam or he is an infidel.

Ms. Bibi’s husband and children are hiding. They left the house after receiving threats from the Muslim extremists. It is difficult for them to survive, as the husband and his other brothers are always chased by Muslim groups. There is a strong chance that her family would be attacked and might be killed as these happened in previous cases when persons were accused of blasphemy. In a recent case of two Christian brothers, the AHRC informed the authorities of the threat well before those brothers were killed in custody. Please see the urgent appeal in the case of Rashid Emmanuel and Sajjid.

In another case dating from July 2009, a Christian youth was killed by extremists in November 2010 after being released from charges of blasphemy. Please go to his case by clicking here.

One daily newspaper, Nawa-i-Waqt has written an editorial in favour of Maulana Yousuf Querashi, who issued a decree against Aasia Bibi and announced a cash reward for whomever kills Aasia Bibi. The newspaper wrote that Maulana was great in his decree and his action is according to Islam therefore Aasia Bibi should be killed.

The speaker and legislators of the provincial Assembly of Punjab province who support the move against Aasia Bibi are no better. When Mr. Shara, a minority member of the assembly, wanted to discuss the issue of Aasia and her punishment, the speaker, Rani Iqbal Ahmad, refused to allow Shara to speak on the issue, describing it as “sensitive”. Protesting against the speaker’s attitude, legislators belonging to minority communities walked out of the House. However, when Ali Haider Noor Niazi of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan party began speaking emotionally on the same issue, the speaker did not stop him. Niazi began shouting within the assembly as he criticised those who were trying to defend the woman. Niazi criticised Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer for raising his voice in favour of Asia Bibi. “The governor has no right to make efforts for Asia’s pardon,” he said. Niazi was also of the view that those demanding the woman’s release are blasphemers.

It is very much feared that Aasia Bibi or her family members may be killed during her detention or when she is released. The Punjab government is silent on the issue and allowing fundamentalist groups to decide all things.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The deliberate institutionalisation of Islam’s status as protected and predominant promoted the perpetuation of religious intolerance by Islamic fundamentalists. According to data collected by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), at least 964 persons were alleged of violating these anti-blasphemy clauses from 1986 to August 2009, while more than 30 persons were killed extra-judicially by the angry mob or by individuals.

Militant Muslim organizations are using blasphemy laws as the best way to keep religious minority groups under pressure and even forcibly take land. The state is failing to protect the lives and property of minority communities. The blasphemy law has made it compulsory that no police officer below the level of Superintendent of Police can investigate the charges but this is rarely adhered to.

Recent cases in Pakistan suggest a criminal collaboration among government authorities, police, and fundamentalist organizations, in which the Muslim clergy, receiving bribes from land-grabbers in the National and Provincial Assemblies, colluded with local police to expropriate land owned by minorities by bringing blasphemy allegations against them. The situation is especially worrying in Punjab province after the formation of the PML-N government, which has a record of intolerant policies against Christians and Ahmadis in particular.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write the letters to the authorities urging them to pardon Aasia and release her immediately. Please ask them to arrest those Muslim leaders who are instigating the people to kill her and have announced rewards for killing her. Please also urge that the children and family members of her be provided protection and employment.

The AHRC writes a separate letter to UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of Religious tolerance calling for his intervention into this case.

To support this appeal please click here:
——————————

————————

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PAKISTAN: Muslim leaders who issued decree to kill a Christian lady should be prosecuted

Name of victim:
Ms. Aasia Bibi, 45, mother of five living in Ittanwali village, Nanka district, Punjab province, Pakistan
Names of alleged perpetrators:
1. Maulani Yousuf Querashi, Imam Majid Mahabat Khan, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtonn Kha province, Pakistan
2. Maulana Muhammad Salim, Imam Masjid, Ittanwala village, Nankana district, Punjab province, Pakistan
3. Editor, daily Nawa-i-waqt, Lahore, Punjab province, Pakistan
Date of incident: November 1, 2010
Place of incident: Nankana district, Punjab province, Pakistan

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding death sentence of Aasia, a Christian mother of five, on the charges of blasphemy by a court and the government’s inability to prosecute those elements who are openly announcing their intention to kill her or award cash money for that purpose. Because of lawlessness and government weakness the Muslim extremist groups are finding it easy to kill her extra judicially. From past experience it has been noted that up until now, blasphemy law had not led to an execution of any accused or convicted. But 33 people charged with blasphemy have been killed in prison by guards or in the vicinity of the court.

It is very shocking that mosque leader Mahabat Khan, of Peshawar, has announced a decree calling for the killing of Asia and a reward of Rs 500,000 ($6000 USD) to be given to the killer. The call for extra judicial killing by an Muslim leader was totally ignored by the government, which shows that there is no rule of law in the country and every person can claim his own law is Islamic law. This amounts to a total collapse of rule of the law and justice system.

Aasia Bibi, 45, a Christian and mother of five, was sentenced to death by a local court in Nankana district, Punjab province, on charges of committing blasphemy. Ms Bibi’s case dates back to June 2009, when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields and a group of Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she should not touch the water bowl. This resulted in exchange of hot words between her and Muslim women against each others’ religious beliefs. Five days after the incident, a local Muslim leader, Qari Salem, jumped into the matter and pressured some people in the area to claim that she committed blasphemy.

When finding no way to get Ms. Bibi to confess, Salem used the loudspeakers of the mosque, as other Muslim leaders usually do in the cases of alleged blasphemy acts, to spread the news of blasphemy and instigate the people of the locality to punish the alleged blasphemer. The people of the locality beat her severely in the presence of her children. The local police came and took her into protective custody, but at the police station the crowd under the leadership of Qari Salem pressured the police to file a charge of blasphemy against her and arrest her for desecrating the last prophet of Islam (peace be upon him).

On November 1, 2010, 16 months after her arrest, the court pronounced a death sentence on charges of committing blasphemy. The judge totally ruled out in his judgment any chance that Aasia was falsely implicated; he said that there were no mitigating circumstances. His comment in his verdict shows that he knew that it was a weak case and that people will oppose his judgment giving a death sentence to a woman in a blasphemy case for the first time in the history of Pakistan. According to the reports, the court relied on the witnesses provided by the Muslim leader of the mosque and Christians were not allowed to produce any witness. The judge also did not know that according to the 2004 amendment to blasphemy law the investigation of any blasphemy charges should be conducted by an officer who is at least a Superintendent of Police (SP). In the case of Aasia, all the investigation was done by a low rank officer, the Assistant Sub-Inspector.

It has been found that Pakistan’s judges, from the lower courts to the highest courts, are eager to get popularity through their verdicts and comments during the hearing. When the chief justice of the Lahore High Court stopped the government from withdrawing the case of blasphemy against Aasia on the assumption that president of Pakistan would withdraw the case, Ms. Asma Jehangir, the president of Supreme Court Bar Association told the judges that if they want to get popularity through their judgment then they should do some other job rather than being a judge. The judiciary’s attitude towards the blasphemy law is no different than that of ordinary Muslim leaders. When the Chief Justice implored the government not to pardon the sentence, another bench of the same court also asked the government not to amend the blasphemy law.

It is also evident that those persons responsible for extra-judicial killings of persons accused of blasphemy will never be punished by the courts because of the biases of the courts and because of the lengthy period of trial during which witnesses were pressured by the militant groups.

A prominent Muslim leader, Maulana Yousef Qureshi, a hard line Pakistani Islamic cleric, told a rally in the north-western town of Peshawar that his mosque would give Rs. 0.5 million ($6,000 US dollars) to anyone who kills Aasia Bibi. The Maulana is the leader of Mosque Mahabat Khan, the biggest in the Khyber Pakhtoon Kha province. His announcement was carried by all electronic and print media, yet the government has not taken any legal action against Maulana for inciting people to kill extra judicially. Muslim religious groups all over the Pakistan are holding protest meetings in large numbers, instructing followers that there should be no compromise if the government or courts pardon Aasia’s death sentence.

The governor of Punjab, who met Aasia in jail after her sentence and assured her that he would take her case before the president of Pakistan, advocating to pardon her. However, the Lahore high court suddenly stopped the process and said before the decision of the court that the government cannot do such a thing. All the religious groups and parties maligned the governor as he is violating the basic teachings of Islam.

Ms. Bibi’s husband and children are hiding. They left the house after receiving threats from the Muslim extremists. It is difficult for them to survive, as the husband and his other brothers are always chased by Muslim groups. There is a strong chance that her family would be attacked and might be killed as these happened in previous cases when persons were accused of blasphemy. In a recent case of two Christian brothers, the AHRC informed the authorities of the threat well before those brothers were killed in custody.

In another case dating from July 2009, a Christian youth was killed by extremists in November 2010 after being released from charges of blasphemy.

One daily newspaper, Nawa-i-Waqt has written an editorial in favour of Maulana Yousuf Querashi, who issued a decree against Aasia Bibi and announced a cash reward for whomever kills Aasia Bibi. The newspaper wrote that Maulana was great in his decree and his action is according to Islam therefore Aasia Bibi should be killed.

The speaker and legislators of the provincial Assembly of Punjab province who support the move against Aasia Bibi are no better. When Mr. Shara, a minority member of the assembly, wanted to discuss the issue of Aasia and her punishment, the speaker, Rani Iqbal Ahmad, refused to allow Shara to speak on the issue, describing it as “sensitive”. Protesting against the speaker’s attitude, legislators belonging to minority communities walked out of the House. However, when Ali Haider Noor Niazi of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan party began speaking emotionally on the same issue, the speaker did not stop him. Niazi began shouting within the assembly as he criticised those who were trying to defend the woman. Niazi criticised Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer for raising his voice in favour of Asia Bibi. “The governor has no right to make efforts for Asia’s pardon,” he said. Niazi was also of the view that those demanding the woman’s release are blasphemers.

It is very much feared that Aasia Bibi or her family members may be killed during her detention or when she is released. The Punjab government is silent on the issue and allowing fundamentalist groups to decide all things.

I urge the government to take strong action against the fundamentalist Muslim leaders who take the law in their own hands in the name of Islam and want to rule the country with their extremist designs and misuse the blasphemy law.

I urge you to immediately repeal the black law, the blasphemy law, or at least delete section 295 from the Pakistan Penal Code, release Aasia Bibi and provide protection to her and her family. Also prosecute those who issued decrees ordering the killing of Aasia Bibi.

I look forward to your prompt action to provide substantial and comprehensive policy responses on the protection of religious minority groups and misuse of blasphemy law.

Yours sincerely,

—————-

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

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

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

3. Mr. A. Rehman Malik
Federal Minister for Interior
Government of Pakistan,
R block, Pak Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 51 9212026 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +92 51 9212026      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 51 9212026, 51 9212026, 51 9212026
Fax: +92 51 9202624
E-mail: ministry.interior@gmail.com, interior.complaintcell@gmail.com

4. 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: +92 51 9204108
E-mail: sarfaraz_yousuf@yahoo.com

5. Mr. Salman Taseer
Governor of Punjab
Governor House
Mall Road
Lahore
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 99203044
E-mail: governor.sectt@punjab.gov.pk

6. Chief Secretary of Government of Punjab
Punjab Secretariat
Lahore, Punjab province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 7324489
E-mail: chiefsecy@punjab.gov.pk

7. Minister of Law
Government of Punjab
Punjab Secretariat
Ravi Road
Lahore, Punjab province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 99212004
E-mail: law@punjab.gov.pk

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

Thank you.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2010 in Blasphemy, Christians, Petitions

 

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Sign petition against gang rape of a woman for 50 days by police


Many people put this question before me that why I am trying to give this image of Pakistan to the world that minorities are suffering here. My answer to them is just one that those who watch their countries as watchdogs are true patriots because they value their countries and want protection, respect and security from their systems. So that is what I do; demanding protection, security and respect for all Pakistani citizens from this country.

A woman, Mrs. Ruby Masih, was gang raped for 50 days by policemen and police informers including Muslims and Christians both. She was put in a private police detention house and was later thrown on a railway line in Karachi. The details of this case are available in Asian Human Rights Commission’s appeal below. In nutshell, the dispute was over a possession of a house she bought and the police later illegally occupied it. In protest, she filed a case with police which led to gang rape, threats and an unending misery.

Her husband was put behind bars too and the case is still pending due to confusion created by alleged policemen regarding the police jurisdiction. Her medical report was not received even after one month. So many questions arise in regard to how arbitrary powers have been given to the police here.

Under which law such private detention centers exist and under what circumstances such detention centers are supposed to be used? Who will investigate the corruption in the police force and also if the jurisdiction is changed then does it mean no one ever can fix this matter?

Lust for power, wealth, and property can lead to this heinous crime against a woman and her family is beyond one’s imagination in today’s world. People are right when they choose not to go to police for security because here policemen are rapists, thieves and criminals. Now who will ensure justice?

In such cases we definitely need our Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto action against those policemen to set an example. Here the problem lies with the systems where corruption and red tapism are deep rooted.

I request you all to sign this petition in solidarity with the victim. Let’s raise our voice against injustice.

APPEAL

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a woman, who received a stay order from court over a dispute on ownership of her house, was picked up by policemen and their informers and taken to a private detention centre where she was gang raped for more than 50 days. The rape victim’s cases against the accused policemen and their henchmen were withdrawn due to the controversy of the geographical jurisdiction of the police. The medical report of the rape was not issued even after one month following the medical examination. The victim and her family are in hiding because of continuous police threats to withdraw the case. The deputy inspector generals (DIGs) of the two districts of Karachi metropolitan city refused to entertain the complaints of the victim on the grounds of jurisdiction.

The alleged story comes from a country, which claims to be an Islamic Republic and proudly announces that it is protecting the women’s rights. This case is one of the worst examples of how the police protect their own on the pretext of jurisdictions.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Mrs. Ruby Masih, aged 32 years, wife of Mr. Aijaz Masih, resident of N-37, street number 50, Sector 50, Mohammad Khan Goth (village) Korangi number 3-1/2, Karachi, Sindh province, was raped in a private detention center of the police for more than 50 days (from August 10 to September 30, 2010) by police constable Ishaque Masih of Mehmoodabad police station and plain clothed policemen known as informers.

Ruby purchased a house in April 2004, where she was living as tenant since 2000, from Mr. Iqbal Masih, son of Mr. Inayat Masih, a police informer of Mehmoodabad police station. She paid off the whole price of the house except Rs. 40,000 (USD 471) as per condition that it would be paid after possession of all papers regarding the ownership of the house. In the meanwhile, Constable Ishaque allegedly forged the papers and declared the property in the name of one Mrs. Marium Bibi. Ruby challenged the issue in a civil court vide case number 578/2010 against Marium Bibi, Constable Ishaque and Iqbal Masih, a police informer.

On 31 May, the court passed a stay order in favour of Ruby. On the
same night in late hours, Police Constable Ishaque, Police Constable
Shahid and others broke into the Ruby’s house and threw away all the belongings of her family and occupied it. She and her family shifted to another house on rent as the police refused them entry to their own premises.

On 7 June, Mr. Aijaz Masih, Ruby’s husband, a carpenter by profession, lodged a case of illegal occupation of his house and theft
of gold ornaments with the Zaman Town police station against
constables and their henchmen. The Zaman Town police did not take any action against the alleged perpetrators. Instead, the police filed a case against the complainant Mr. Aijaz, his uncle and his cousin for trespassing the house, assault or criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, damaging property and other offence.

On 10 August when Ruby went to attend the court hearing of her case, Constable Ishaq Masih of Mehmoodabad police station, Karachi with the help of constable Shahid and police informers, Shahbaz Masih, Iqbal Masih and Ms. Marium Masih abducted her from outside the court premises in a car. Ruby was taken to Qaidabad, 30 kilometers away from the city court premises, at gun point. She was asked to withdraw the case against police men for occupying her house illegally. On her refusal she was dumped into a house, an illegal detention center used for torture, and was forced to drink a coloured water. She fainted and when she came to she found herself lying naked on a cot. Then constable Ishaque and Marium again asked her to withdraw the case against them. On her refusal constable Shahid, Constable Ishaque, police informers Iqbal Masih, Kamran and Munir allegedly raped her during her illegal detention of 52 days.

On 30 September, she was thrown onto the railway line at Cantonment Railway Station from where she was taken away by an ambulance and admitted in the Jinnah Hospital. She informed her husband and then she was shifted to Civil Hospital on instructions of doctors. Before her release from illegal detention, her husband, Aijaz, has filed an application before the Court of District and Session Magistrate on 19 September, pleading that his wife has been abducted by police constables and their henchmen and police refusing to file case against police officials. On the orders of the court the Korangi Industrial police station lodged an FIR (First Information Report) against the accused police officials and their henchmen for abducting Ruby and keeping her incommunicado. On the same night police officials threw her in the jurisdiction of another police station, the Risala police station so that the FIR at Korangi police station should become ineffective.

On 1 October when her husband, was coming back after recording Ruby’s statement regarding her illegal detention and rape, he was arrested by Mehmoodabad police on the charges of theft and stealing. He was then sent to prison where he was kept 15 days and on 19 October he was released on bail. The Korangi Industrial police arrested constable Ishaque and Shahid on the strength of Ruby’s statement but within four days they were released on the pretext of jurisdiction as Ruby was found to be from Risala Police station so the case could not be applied against the perpetrators. In the meantime Station Investigation Officer (SIO), Mr. Sohail Khan, of Korangi Industrial police station started bargaining with Ruby’s husband to settle the issue as he could not expect a result and would only have problems with the police as they have ‘long hands’.

The case of abduction and rape came for investigation before Dr.
Ameer Shaikh, the deputy inspector general of East, who later on
finding police information told the victims that the case did not come under his jurisdiction and they should contact DIG south. The victims then contacted DIG south who also refuse to investigate the case. On 4 October Mr. Momin Ali Mirani, the assistan sub inspector at Korangi police station took Ruby to a civil hospital for a medical examination of her rape. However, after one month the report has not been collected.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write the letters to authorities for conducting an inquiry in
to the case of running a private detention and gang rape of a woman by policemen and misuse of power to provide impunity to perpetrators. Please urge upon them to prosecute all the police officials for their negligence to stop the rape and providing protection to perpetrators. Also urge them to provide government protection and medical treatment to the victim including compensation to the family for the ordeal suffered from the misuse of police power.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to UN Special Rapporteurs on Violence against Women and Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment calling for their interventions into this case.

To support this appeal, please click here:
<http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/support.php?ua=UAC-171-2010>

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PAKISTAN: A woman was gang raped and kept for 50 days in a private detention center of police

Names of victims:

1. Mrs Ruby Masih, 32, wife of Aijaz Masih

2. Mr. Aijaz Masih, husband of Ruby Masih

Both are originally the owner of a house at N-37, street number 50,
Sector 50, Mohammad Khan Goth (village) Korangi number 3-1/2, Karachi, Sindh province. Currently residing at Sector 6/C, Mehran Town, Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi, Sindh

Names of alleged perpetrators:

1. Mr. Ishaque Masih

2. Mr. Shahid

Both are Police Constable, attached to the Mehmoodabad Police
station, Karachi, Sindh

3. Mr. Iqbal Masih, son of Inayat Masih, Informer of Mehmoodabad
police station, an ally of former owner of a house at N-37, street
number 50, sector 50, Mohammad Khan Goth (village) Korangi number 3-1/2, Karachi, Sindh province

4. Mrs. Marium Bibi, wife of Manzoor Masih, informer of Mehmoodabad police station, former owner of a house at N-37, street number 50, sector 50, Mohammad Khan Goth (village) Korangi number 3-1/2, Karachi, Sindh province

5. Mr. Sohail Khan, Sub Inspector of police and Station Investigation Officer, attached to the Korangi Industrial police station, Karachi, Sindh

6. Mr. Momin Ali Mirani, Assistant Sub Inspector, attached to the
Korangi Industrial police station, Karachi, Sindh

7. Dr. Amir Shaikh, Deputy Inspector General of Police, East,
Karachi, Sindh

8. Deputy Inspector General of Police, South, Karachi, Sindh

Date of incident: August 10, 2010

Place of incident: Korangi Industrial area and Qaidabad, Landhi,
Karachi

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the gang rape of a
woman and detained for 50 days in private detention center of police on the dispute of house.

I am shocked to know that Mrs Ruby 32, resident of Katchi abadi of
Karachi was abducted by police constables and police informers of
Mehmoodabad police station to withdraw her claim from a house which was legally purchased by her. During her abduction she was gang raped for 50 days in a private detention center of police running illegally even by high police officers. She was tortured and abused and kept many days naked.

That this has happened in a country which claims to be an Islamic
republic is especially shameful. The country is run by elected
representatives where the rule of law is just vanished and women have to the rape for want of justice.

The details of the case are as follows: Mrs. Ruby Masih, 32, wife of
Aijaz Masih, resident of N-37, street number 50, sector 50, Mohammad Khan Goth (village) Korangi number 3-1/2, Karachi, Sindh province, was raped in a private detention center of the police for 50 days (from 10 August to 30 September, 2010) by police constable Ishaque Masih of Mehmoodabad police station and plain clothe policemen known as informers.

Ruby purchased a house in April 2004, where she was living as tenant since 2000, from Iqbal Masih son of Inayat Masih, a police informer of Mehmoodabad police station. She paid all amounts due accept Rs. 40,000 as that would be paid after possession of all papers of the house. In the meanwhile contable Ishaque allegedly forged the papers and declared the property in the name of one Marium Bibi. Ruby challenged this in civil court vide case number 578/2010 against Marium Bibi, Constable Ishaque and Iqbal Masih, a police informer.

On 31 May, court ordered stay order in favour of victim but at the
same night in late hours, constable Ishaque, constable Shahid and
others attacked the house and threw away all the belongings of her
family and occupied it. She and her family shifted to other house on
rent as the police has blocked her return to her home. On 7 June, Mr. Aijaz Masih, husband of Ruby, lodged a case of illegal occupation of his house and theft of gold ornaments in Zaman Town police station against constables and their henchmen. The Zaman town police did not take any action against the perpetrators, instead, police filed a case against complainant Aijaz, his uncle and his cousin for trespassing the house, assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, damaging property and other offence.

On 10 August when Ruby went to attend the court hearing of her case, Constable Ishaq Masih of Mehmoodabad police station, Karachi with the help of constable Shahid and police informers, Shahbaz Masih, Iqbal Masih and Ms. Marium Masih abducted her from out side the court premises in a car. She was taken to Qaidabad, 30 kilometers away from city court premises at gun point. She was asked to withdraw the case against police men for occupying her house illegally. On her refusal she was dumped in to a house, an illegal detention center used for torture, and was forced to drink a coloured water. She was fainted and when she came to she found herself with out her dress and lying naked on a cot. Constable Ishaque and Marium again asked her to withdraw case against them. On her refusal constable Shahid, Constable Ishaque,
police informers Iqbal Masih, Kamran and Munir allegedly raped her during her illegal detention of 52 days.

On 30 September, she was thrown on the railway line at Cant railway station from where she was taken away in ambulance admitted in Jinnah Hospital. She informed her husband and then she was shifted to civil hospital on instructions of doctors. Before her release from illegal detention, her husband, Aijaz, has filed an application before the court of district and session magistrate on 19 September, pleading that his wife has been abducted by police constables and their henchmen and the police were refusing to file a case against police officials. On the orders of the court Korangi Industrial police station lodged a FIR against accused police officials and their henchmen for abducting Ruby and keeping her incommunicado On the same night police officials threw her in the jurisdiction of another police station, the Risala police station so that the FIR at Korangi police station should become ineffective.

On 1 October when her husband was coming back recording the statement of Ruby about her illegal detention and rape, he was arrested by Mehmoodabad police on the charges of theft and stealing. He was then sent to prison where he was kept 15 days and on 19 October he was released on bail. The Korangi Industrial police arrested constable Ishaque and Shahid on the strength of Ruby’s statement but within four days they were released on the pretext of jurisdiction as Ruby was found from Risala Police station so case can not be applied against perpetrators. In the meantime station investigation officer (SIO), Mr. Sohail Khan, of Korangi Industrial police station has started bargaining with Ruby’s husband to settle the issue as he would never get a result but rather always have problems as the police have long hands.

The case of abduction and rape came for investigation before Dr.
Ameer Shaikh, the deputy inspector general of East, who later on
finding police information told the victims that the case did not come under his jurisdiction and to contact DIG south. The victims then contacted DIG south who also refuse to investigate the case. Mr. Momin Ali Mirani, the assistant sub inspector at Korangi police station has taken her on 4 October to civil hospital for medical examination of her rape but even now the reported has not been collected.

I am appalled that how police, as an institution, protect their
officials who are involved in crime on the pretext of jurisdiction, a
heinous kind of crime, that usurps the whole rule of law.

I urge that you immediately conduct an inquiry into the matter of
gang rape of a woman in private detention center for 50 days by police officials. Please also prosecute all the police officers who were
involved in providing protection to the culprits and making false
cases against her and her husband. Also provide protection to victim and her family and provide best medical treatment with compensation to family.

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. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani

Prime Minister of Pakistan

Prime Minister House

Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: + 92 51 9221596

E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk

3. Syed Qaim Ali Shah

Chief Minister

Karachi, Sindh Province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 21 920 2000

E-mail: pppsindh@yahoo.com

4. 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

5. 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

6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court

High Court Building

Saddar, Karachi

Sindh Province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 21 9213220

E-mail: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk

7. 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

8. Dr. Faqir Hussain

Registrar

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Constitution Avenue, Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: + 92 51 9213452

E-mail: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

9. 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.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2010 in Christians, Petitions, Rape

 

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Sign a petition: A Hindu community is attacked and evicted on Blasphemy charges


What saddens me is the fact that not a single incident could teach a lesson to those who are biased and believe in vested interests. Protests generated within civil society, people, and human rights organizations could not so far put a halt on future violations of human rights. It piles up lot of frustration and I can well imagine that those who have spent their lives in a hope to create a peaceful and fair environment for minorities here in Pakistan must be shaken with a new wave of extremism. But, defending human rights is a long and unending process which is shaken but can never be collapsed.

Once again, blasphemy comes for the rescue of extremist forces when a Muslim mob attacked Hindu families in Sindh. They have been living in Mirpurkhas for almost a century and on an accusation of writing abusive language against Prophet (PBHU), they had to vacate their houses. Angry mob burned three houses belonging to Hindus and many children and women were assaulted. Seven Hindus were arrested on blasphemy charges. Police and rangers tried hard to control the situation, but it kept going out of their control. One innocent Muslim died in crossfire; whereas one ranger got injured.

If one goes back in the context, it is understood that the whole chaos and hatred do not base on religion rather it is pure material. Land grabbing is not new to me rather I have observed that it has been one of the most prominent reasons leading to attacks on minorities. This case is not so different. The role of a Maulvi (religious cleric) in flaring up the mob emotions is condemnable. The job of religious clerics is just not to become custodians and authority on religion rather guiding people on right path is their supreme duty. The bias and hatred in Maulvis play an important role in dividing people further, quite opposite to what they are supposed to do. In many cases with some exceptions, loudspeakers of Mosque are used to assemble and then motivate people to attack minorities in the name of Islam. The implementation of any law has always been a hard task and carries many weaknesses. Same goes for “Loud Speaker Act 1965” in which Section 3 prohibits use of loudspeaker except for prayers. In 2004, it was made compulsory, but due to having no check and balance system, it was never implemented fully. The misuse has a horrifying side to it which made killing and all sort of violence possible against minorities.

The demand to repeal blasphemy laws by human rights defenders is becoming stronger especially under the given perspective. These laws are meant to target one section of society which has an equal right to live here peacefully. The intolerance has plagued the society which has infected majority of people. Sane voices are becoming rare and sensitive minds are becoming oblivious. It is not a good sign and we all have to raise our voices against extremism and religious intolerance to defeat the extremist forces.

Everyone please sign the petition to prove that we are on the right path and humanity is the greatest religion.

Below is the story:

PAKISTAN: A Hindu community is attacked and evicted on fabricated
Blasphemy charges, houses burned causing death of a person by firing

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information
that a Muslim group attacked on a Hindu community that had been living
there for a century during the early hours on 23 August 2010 in order
to grab the land occupied by the Hindu community in Sindh Province of
Pakistan. The Hindu community, who are minority in Pakistan, had been
forced to vacate their houses and assets from the area. Three houses
were burnt by the Muslim attackers. Many women and children were
assaulted and seven Hindu men were arrested on fabricated charges of
Blasphemy for writing abusive language against the last prophet (peace
be upon him) of Islam on the walls around the mosque. The loudspeakers
of the mosque were used to provoke the Muslim residents to attack on
the Hindu community. A young Muslim man was killed during the exchange
of firing between the attackers and the Pakistan Rangers.

The government authorities have not taken any initiative to protect
the minority community till date.

CASE NARRATIVE:

A centuries-old Hindu community had settled in Mir Wah Gorchani city,
Mirpurkhas district of Sindh province and their main settlement were
known as the Bhemo Mal Megwar colony and Metha Ram Megwar Para. The
total population of the Hindus in the area is more than 400 and the
community has been in existence before the formation of Pakistan.

In the early hours of 23 August 2010, at around 2am, Maulvi Mushtaq
Ahmed Naqshbandi, a leader of the local mosque and Jamia Siddiqia
seminary, announced through the loudspeakers that there was some wall
chalking in which abusive words had been written against the last
prophet (Peach be upon him) of Islam by the Hindus. He provoked that
the people should come out from houses to teach the Hindu community a
lesson. When some people asked for proof that the Hindus were
responsible for the chalking Maulvi said that a truck driver had
informed him that when he was entering the area near the mosque he saw
a young man standing at the wall and after seeing the driver he (young
man) ran away towards the Hindu community of Bhemo Mal Megwar. The
driver saw the wall chalking and he quickly informed this to Maulvi.

Maulvi also provoked the Muslim inhabitants to search the houses of
the Hindus and find the young man whose hand must be stained with
black ink. Around 50 persons under the leadership of Maulvi started
searching each house during which women were dragged by the hair out
from the houses in their sleeping garments conditions; children were
kicked to force them to leave the houses. There were 60 houses and it
took three hours to search for the man suspected of the blasphemy but
no such person was found in the community. When the situation
deteriorated after the humiliation of the Hindus and the threats from
the Muslims to burn the Hindu-houses, a police party under district
police officer of Mirpurkahs arrived and started controlling the mob
of more than three hundred Muslims. The angry mob started pelting the
police with stones shouting slogans to burn down the houses of the
Hindus. The mob then burned three houses and looted the belongings of
the community.

In the meantime the loudspeakers of the mosque were continuously used
to provoke the Muslims to attack the houses of Hindus of Bhemo Mal
Megwar that might have provided shelter to the person, who had written
blasphemous writings on the walls around the mosque. The mob was
swelling and going out of control so the Rangers were called to help
the police in controlling the mob. As the Rangers came some miscreants
used fire arms during which one Ranger, Mr. Haq Nawaz, received a
bullet injury. The rangers and police used tear gas shell and baton
charged the mob. On the demand of the Muslim leaders seven Hindus were
arrested on the charges of Blasphemy. The arrested persons were Mr.
Faqeero, Mr. Kirchand, Mr. Mukesh, Mr. Kishan, Mr. Prem and Mr. Heroo
Ram Chand. One possible reason for their arrest is that they were the
only persons available at that time as the Hindus fled the area to
take shelter in other places. The minority community also left all
their belongings and animals that have been without water and fodder
since then.

One young Muslim man, Mohammad Imran, was killed by gunfire. In the
funeral prayers one particular person attended. He is Pir Aube Jan
Sarhandi, from Sanghar city, of Sindh province, and is known in the
area along the Indian border to convert Hindu women to Islam by
abducting them. He openly claims that he has converted 2000 Hindus to
Islam.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

The Bheemo Mal Megwar Para has been a registered Hindu colony since
the creation of Pakistan but the area around this village is mostly
unregistered where many settlers from the Punjab province and migrants
from India have settled and made their houses. In recent days some
land grabbers have also grabbed the land of Musafir Khana, a public
land, and constructed well concrete houses with the connivance of the
officials of the land department. A journalist, Mr. Rana Jameel Ahmed
and one Haji Khalid Papoo have made their houses in front of the main
road to Bheemo Mal Para, narrowing down the path towards Bheemo Mal.
Observing the threatening situation the Hindu community made a wall
around their settlement and erected an iron gate, both of which were
demolished by an angry mob during the above mentioned incident on 23
August. It is alleged that government sent some officers from land
department of Sindh to vacate the grabbed land but the officials made
some settlement with the illegal occupants of the government land. The
alleged grabbers also received help from the mosque leaders.

The same method was applied last year by the alleged land grabbers in
Soomra colony of Mirpurkhas where, during the Hindu festival of Holy
(colour festival) two Hindu communities, the Kohli para and Bheel
Para, were attacked on the false charges of writing blasphemous words.
The Hindus had to leave the area and moved to other places. The land
grabbers have purchased the land from these two communities at throw
away prices.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The dark aspect of the incident is that extreme, militant Muslim
organizations are using the tool of blasphemy as the best way to keep
religious minority groups under pressure. The State is failing to
protect the lives and property of the minority community. The
blasphemy law has made it compulsory that no police officer below the
level of Superintendent of Police can investigate the charges but this
is rarely adhered to.

Religious minority groups in Pakistan remain vulnerable due to the
continued use and abuse of blasphemy charges, despite section 295C of
the Pakistan Penal Code. The police, who fail to follow the code and
who operate under the directive of extremists in the community, must
face strong legal action. Charges of blasphemy are still met with the
death penalty in Pakistan.

The misuse of loudspeakers is continuous in Pakistan despite the
Section 3 of the Loud Speaker Act 1965. And again in 2004 it was made
compulsory that loudspeakers from mosques can be used only for call of
prayers and Friday sermons in Arabic language. But the irony is that
mosques’ leaders are frequently using the loudspeakers and the state
is ignoring the acts of Muslim religious groups which result in
spreading hatred against the religious minority groups.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities urging them to take stern
action against the persons responsible for attacking on the
century-old settlements of the Hindu community. Please also urge the
authorities to stop the misuse of Blasphemy law. The misuse of
loudspeakers from the mosques should be stopped. The government should
help the displaced Hindu community for their rehabilitation in their
own settlements. Maulvi Mushtaq should be arrested and prosecuted on
the charges of misusing loudspeakers from the mosque and taking search
of the houses of the Hindu community illegally. The government should
also provide compensation to the family of the Muslim man, Mr.
Mohammad Imran, who was killed during the firing from the extremist
elements.

To support this appeal, please click here:
<http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/support.php?ua=UAC-119-2010>

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PAKISTAN: Hindu community was attacked and evicted on false charges
of Blasphemy, one person killed by firing

Names of the victims:

1. Mr. Faqeero

2. Mr. Kirchand

3. Mr. Mukesh

4. Mr. Kishan

5. Mr. Prem

6. Mr. Heroo Ram Chand,

All are living in Bheemo Mal Megwar Para,Mir Wah Gorchani city,
Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

7. Inhabitants belonging to the Hindu Community settled in Bheemo Mal
Megwar Para, Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

8. Mr. Mohammad Imran, died in exchange of firing, Mir Wah Gorchani
city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

Names of alleged perpetrators:

1. Maulvi Mushtaq Naqshbandi, Head of Jamia Siddiqia Madressa and
mosque, Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

2 . Mr. Haq Nawaz, Official of Pakistan Rangers, Mirpurkhas district,
Sindh province

Date of incident: 23 August 2010

Place of incident: Bheemo Mal Megwar Para, Mir Wah Gorchani city,
Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the attack on the
settlement of the Hindu community at Bheemo Mal Megwar Para, Mir Wah
Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district,Sindh province, by Muslim extremists
on the false charges of writing blasphemous slogans on and around the
walls of close to the mosque. They burned the houses of the Hindus and
looted their belongings. One Muslim man was killed during the firing
from the extremist elements.

It is shocking for me that on the early hours of August 23, at around
2am Maulvi Mushtaq Ahmed Naqshbandi, a leader of the local mosque and
seminary known as Jamia Siddiqia, announced through the loudspeakers
of the local mosque that there were some wall chalking in which
abusive words were written against the last prophet of Islam by the
Hindus. He provoked that the Muslim people should come out from houses
to teach the Hindu community a lesson. When some people asked about
the prove that Hindus have written abusive language, the Maulvi said
that a truck-driver informed him that when he was entering the area
near the mosque he saw a young man was standing with the wall and
after seeing driver he ran away towards the Hindu community, the Bhemo
Mal Megwar. The driver saw the wall chalking and quickly informed this
to Maulvi.

Maulvi also provoked the Muslim people to search the houses of the
Hindus and find the young man whose hand must be stained with black
ink. Around 50 persons under the leadership of Maulvi started
searching each houses during which women were dragged by the hair out
from the houses in their sleeping garments conditions, children were
kicked to force them to leave the houses. There were 60 houses and it
took three hours to search for the man suspected of the blasphemy but
no such person was found in the community. When the situation
deteriorated after the humiliation of Hindus and the threats to burn
their houses a police party under district police officer of
Mirpurkahs arrived and started controlling the mob of more than three
hundred Muslims. The angry mob started pelting the police with stones
shouting slogans to burn down the houses of Hindus. The mob then
burned three houses and looted the belongings of the community.

In the meantime the loudspeakers of the mosque were continuously used
to provoke the Muslims to attack the houses of Hindus of Bhemo Mal
Megwar who might have provided shelter to the person who had written
blasphemous writings on the walls around the mosque. The mob was
swelling and going out of control so the Rangers were called to help
the police in controlling the mob. As the Rangers came some miscreants
used fire arms during which one Ranger, Mr. Haq Nawaz, received a
bullet injury. The rangers and police used tear gas shell and baton
charged the mob. On the demand of the Muslim leaders seven Hindus were
arrested on the charges of Blasphemy. The arrested persons were Mr.
Faqeero, Mr. Kirchand, Mr. Mukesh, Mr. Kishan, Mr. Prem and Mr. Heroo
Ram Chand. One possible reason for their arrest is that they were the
only persons available at that time as the Hindus fled the area to
take shelter in other places. They also left all their belongings and
animals that have been without water and fodder since then.

One young Muslim man, Mohammad Imran, was killed by gunfire. In the
funeral prayers one particular person attended. He is Pir Aube Jan
Sarhandi, from Sanghar city, Sindh, and is known in the area along the
Indian border to convert Hindu women to Islam by abducting them. He
openly claims that he has converted 2000 Hindus to Islam.

I am appalled as to how a leader of a mosque can order the people to
search of each and every house for a person for writing the alleged
blasphemous slogans. How the law was given over to the hands of an
Imam of a mosque, is this the rule of law in the country? I am also
concerned with the misuse of loudspeakers from the mosques and how
they are frequently used against the religious minority groups.

According to the information I have received, it seems to me that the
local administration is at the mercy of the extremist Muslim groups
who use their influence against the religious minority groups in Sindh
province. Many Hindu communities have already left their settlements
because of the absence of rule of law in the interior of Sindh.

I urge you to take stern action against the persons responsible for
attacking on the century-old settlements of the Hindu community. I
also urge the authorities to stop the misuse of Blasphemy law without
properly following the law. The misuse of loudspeakers from the
mosques should be stopped. The government should help the displaced
Hindu community for their rehabilitation in their own settlements.
Maulvi Mushtaq should be arrested and prosecuted on the charges of
misusing loudspeakers from the mosque and taking search of the each
houses of the Hindu community illegally. The government should also
provide compensation to the family of Mr. Mohammad Imran who was
killed during the firing from the extremist elements.

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. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani

Prime Minister of Pakistan

Prime Minister House

Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: + 92 51 9221596

E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk

3. Syed Qaim Ali Shah

Chief Minister

Karachi, Sindh Province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 21 920 2000

E-mail: pppsindh@yahoo.com

4. 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

5. 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

6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court

High Court Building

Saddar, Karachi

Sindh Province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 21 9213220

E-mail: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk

7. 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 +92 21 9207043 +92 21 9207043 +92
21 9207043 +92 21 9207043 +92 21 9207043 +92 21 9207043

E-mail: lukshmil@yahoo.com

8. Dr. Faqir Hussain

Registrar

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Constitution Avenue, Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: + 92 51 9213452

E-mail: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

9. Inspector General of Police

Police Head office, I. I. Chundrigar road

Karachi, Sindh Province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 21 9212051

 
 

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