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Press Releases

My 15, 2001
Press Release
Court acquitted a handicapped woman

The District & Sessions Judge, Mrs. Qasir Iqbal, West Karachi, accepted the arguments presented
before him by the advocate of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) and acquitted
Mst. Gulbhar Bano. The aggrieved woman was remained in jail for a period of about six months
under the charge of adultery. Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) played a significant
role in putting an end to the aggrieved Gulbhar Banos sufferings.

According to details received that on 19th October 1999, one Ghulam Afsar, head constable of
Docks police station had lodged an FIR No. 30/99 under section 10(2) of Zina Ordinance. The FIR
stated that Ghulam Afsar was present on his duty at the police out post Manora, when Lieutenant
Abdul Razaq, Pak Navy, along with Mohammad Safdar and Fazal Mohammad, Landing Marine,
came and asked him to accompany them to a house, where according to them a man and a woman
were busy in committing the offence of Zina.

The FIR further stated that on the complaint the head constable went with them and entered in the
house, where they found one Tahir and Mst. Gulbhar Bano in a room and both were naked.
Another person, Mohammad Javed was also in the house. The police arrested all of them and
lodged an FIR against them. All the accused pleaded not guilty and asserted that they were not
committing Zina. The police submitted the challan and produced them before the court.

The Uncle of Mst. Gulbhar Bano approached the LHRLA office for legal aid as he was of the view
that the accused was innocent. The President of LHRLA, Mr. Zia Ahmed Awan filled an application
in the Sindh high court for granting bail. The honorable judge of the Sindh high court, Mr. Justice
Sabihuddin Ahmed, after examining the prosecution case and defense version granted the bail to the
handicapped woman.

On 11th May the District & Sessions Judge, Mrs. Qasir Iqbal, West Karachi, acquitted Mst.
Gulbhar Bano. In trial court Mr. Manzoor Ahmed Advocate of LHRLA represented the accused
woman.


Issued by:


(Tariq Mehmood Bhatti)
Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid

May 17, 2001
Press Release
Trial by Fire

The police officials of North Nazimabad police station lodged an FIR No. 81/2001, under section
302/34 PPC against a doctor, Dr. Altaf, and produced him before the court of Mr. Javed Akhtar,
Judicial Magistrate Central Karachi. The accused was involved in the murder of her wife, Dr.
Amina, as he burnt her alive. The learned Magistrate after hearing the arguments made by the
President of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) Mr. Zia Ahmed Awan and Mr.
Manzoor Ahmed Advocate on behalf of complainant Abdul Jabbar, brother of the deceased doctor,
granted the remand of the accused to the police up to 19th May 2001 for further investigation.

According to the details received Dr. Altaf Sarwar, a resident of Bahwalpur, developed intimacy with
a lady doctor, Dr. Amina Bano resident of Karachi, during their house job at Lyari General hospital
in the year 1994-95. Dr. Altaf gave the proposal to marriage to Dr. Badar Jamil, brother of Dr.
Amina, initially the proposal was refused but latter it was considered with a condition that if Dr. Altaf
Sarwar permanently settled in Karachi. The doctor accepted the condition on 23rd February 2000
and signed an affidavit, stating that he will be shifted in Karachi with in four months.

The marriage took place on 24th February 2000 and Dr. Altaf took her wife to Bahwalpur. The
difference started among the couple after the completion of four months as the doctor refused to shift
to Karachi permanently. The repeated demand of Dr. Amina for shifting Karachi resulted several
torture on her by her husband and she left the house and came back to Karachi. After some time Dr.
Altaf came to Karachi and apologized her wife and agreed to shift Karachi as early as possible.

On the assurance of her husband Dr. Amina returned to Bahwalpur but Dr. Altaf instead of his
commitment once again started physical torture and on 27th January he burnt Dr. Amina alive. The
carries of the lady forced the neighbors to broke the door and entered in the house where she was
engulfed by the flames while her husband posed to sleep. Dr. Amina was shifted to a local hospital
and her brother, Dr. Badar, was informed about the incident. Dr. Amina was shifted to Ziauddin
hospital Karachi in a very critical condition. On 9th February she was died due to severe burn
injuries. On the complaint of Mr. Abdul Jabbar, elder brother of Dr. Amina, North Nazimabad
police station lodged an FIR and against Dr. Altaf. The aggrieved family approached the LHRLA
office for legal help. It is pertinent to mention that federal minister for law and human rights, Barrister
Shahida Jamel, has ordered an enquiry about the incident and the enquiry report clearly stated that
the aggrieved women was burnt by her husband.

Issued by:


Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA)

May 18, 2001
Press Release

Unabated Violence Against Pakistani Women

The first five-month of the year 2001 proved extremely violent for women in the country as 392
women were brutally murdered, 206 were injured and 69 cases of rape were reported in the national
press during that time. The research and publication center of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal
Aid (LHRLA) documents all the cases published in newspapers or are otherwise acknowledged, to
collect information regarding the violations of human rights, especially against women and children, in
the country. To up-date the records staff members of LHRLA are monitoring twenty-two
newspapers daily in Urdu, English and Sindhi languages. With the help of this database LHRLA
attempts to keep the public informed about the incidents of violence through its press releases

In the month of January, 195 different cases of physical and sexual abuse of women were reported.
Of these 84 were cases of murder, 28 cases of injured, 18 cases of rape, 11 cases of gang rape, 13
cases of harassment and 10 cases of torture were reported in the print media.

According to LHRLAs research the women abuse cases were prevalent globally and every section
of society was affected by this menace. Unfortunately in Pakistan the police did not deal with victims
of violence sensitively and victims found no other way but return to home disappointed. It is also
pertinent to note that according to LHRLAs investigation that violence cases against women are
much rampant in lower strata of the society.

In February 180 cases of women abuse including 86 cases of murder, 33 cases of injured, 14 cases
of rape, 10 cases of sexual harassment, 7 cases of gang rape and 5 very significant cases of stripping
were acknowledged.

It is significant to mention that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against women (CEDAW) was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly. In 1989
almost one hundred countries including Pakistan ratified the convention. The high number of violence
cases against women clearly shows that despite the ratification of CEDAW what is happening in our
country with the women.

In March 2001, 167 violent cases of physical as well as sexual abuse were reported in the national
and vernacular press. Out of these reported cases 72 cases of murder, 50 cases of injured, 11 cases
of rape, 9 cases of gang rape and 3 cases of stripping came into limelight.

The fourth month, April, of the year 2001 was very sadistic for this neglected class of the society as
284 cases of aggression against women were reported. Out of these published cases 111 were
murdered, 76 were injured, 17 were rape, 14 were gang rape, 16 were sexual assault and 13 cases
of stripping were published in the media.

During May so far 94 different cases of hostility were perpetrated against women in Pakistan. Out of
these 39 cases of murder, 19 cases of injured, 10 cases of rape, 7 cases of gang rape, 5 cases of
sexual assault and 3 very sad cases of kidnap rape murder were reported in the print media.

Although all the above-mentioned cases have been reported in different national and local
newspapers of the country. However, LHRLA believes that many cases of women sexual abuse had
gone unreported.

Issued by:


Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid