Category Archives: Human Rights

Pakistan: 933 killed for honor in two years

ISLAMABAD: Some 933 people were killed across the country in the name of honor during the past two years while 83 non-Muslims were also reported to be killed during the period. The majority of these cases were reported in Sindh.

These statistics were provided to the National Assembly on Friday by Federal Ministry of Law, in response to a query raised by an MNA, Saman Sultan Jaffri.

According to the report, Sindh proved to be the worst in terms of safety of minorities as 46 cases of non-Muslims’ killings were reported in the province, ruled by Pakistan Peoples Party.

As per the law ministry’s Human Rights Regional Offices – functioning at all four provincial headquarters – 17 non-Muslims were killed in Punjab, 9 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and 11 in Balochistan, during this period.

The report said a total of 456 and 477 cases of honor killing were reported in Pakistan in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Once again, the greatest number of such cases (602) was reported from Sindh.

As per the federal law ministry’s data for 2013, 66 cases of honour killing were reported in Punjab, 315 in Sindh, 47 in K-P and 28 in Balochistan. Similarly, 477 such cases were reported in 2014. Of these, 80 cases belonged to Punjab, 287 to Sindh, 78 to K-P and 32 to Balochistan.

As per Inspector General of Police Islamabad, six cases of non-Muslims’ killings were registered in the capital city during the last two years. Of these two cases were challaned, one remained untraced, whereas three cases are under investigation. However, no case of honour killing was registered in the capital during the last two years.

The assembly was told that these Human Rights regional offices are pursuing the cases with agencies concerned and are taking action against culprits to ensure justice to the aggrieved families.

However, the interior ministry and National Police Bureau informed the National Assembly that they did not have any requisite data regarding these crimes.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2015.

Egypt arrests 33 men for alleged debauchery

In November, a Cairo court sentenced eight men to three years in jail for ‘inciting debauchery and offending public morality’ after video footage of an alleged gay marriage went viral on the Internet. (Video still)

Thirty-three men have been arrested in a night-time police raid on a Cairo bathhouse for alleged “debauchery”, a security official said on Monday.

Homosexuality is not specifically banned under Egyptian law, so they were arrested in connection with the offence of debauchery instead.

If tried and convicted they could face lengthy prison terms.

“The police arrested 33 men on Sunday night from a common public bathhouse in the Azbakeya neighbourhood of Cairo for practising debauchery,” General Ali al-Demerdash, head of the Cairo security directorate, said.

He told AFP that the arrests came following an order from the prosecutor general.

Defendants in similar cases in the past have been charged with debauchery and “scorning religion.”

In November, a Cairo court sentenced eight men to three years in jail for “inciting debauchery and offending public morality” after video footage of an alleged gay marriage went viral on the Internet.

Death penalty sought for Nigeria child bride

Sani Garba, 55, holds the picture of his 14-year-old daughter-in-law Wasila Tasi’u on
August 10, 2014 inside her abandoned matrimonial home in the village of Unugwar Yansoro.
(File Photo: AFP)

The father of a 14-year-old child bride accused of murdering her husband said Thursday he was appealing to a Nigerian court to spare his daughter the death sentence.

Wasila Tasi’u is on trial for the murder of her 35-year-old husband, Umar Sani, who died after eating food that Tasi’u allegedly laced with rat poison.

“We are appealing to the judge to consider Wasilat’s plea,” her father, Isyaku Tasi’u, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

On Wednesday witnesses told the High Court in Gezawa, a town 60 miles outside Nigeria’s second largest city of Kano, that Tasi’u killed her husband two weeks after their wedding in April. Three others allegedly died after eating the poisoned meal.

The prosecution, led by Lamido Soron-Dinki, senior state council from the Kano State Ministry of Justice, is seeking the death penalty.

The case calls into question the legality of trying a 14-year-old for murder under criminal law and the rights of child brides, who are common in the poverty-stricken, predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria region.

“She was married to a man that she didn’t love. She protested but her parents forced her to marry him,” Zubeida Nagee, a women’s rights activist in Kano, told AP. Nagee and other activists have written a letter of protest to the Kano state deputy governor.

Nagee said Tasi’u was a victim of systematic abuse endured by millions of girls in the region. Activists say the blend of traditional customs, Islamic law and Nigeria’s constitutional law poses a challenge when advocating for the rights of young girls in Nigeria.

Justice Mohammed Yahaya adjourned the court until December 22. Tasi’u is in state juvenile custody.