The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

PAKISTAN: Husband kills wife with pretext of defending “honour”; Sindh government supports murderer

PAKISTAN: Husband kills wife with pretext of defending “honour”; Sindh government supports murderer

image_miniUrgent Appeal Case : The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a woman has been killed by her husband and brother-in-law, who claim to have been acting to defend “honour”. The woman was murdered in front of her father and brother. The young woman was first locked in a storeroom for three days, without food and water. Then, she was tortured viciously, and killed in front of her father and brother.

 

 

 

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-035-2015

April 16, 2015

Send an Appeal Letter:

 

 

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PAKISTAN: Husband kills wife with pretext of defending “honour”; Sindh government supports murderer

ISSUES: Honour killing; torture; domestic violence; impunity; violence against women; rule of law
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a woman has been killed by her husband and brother-in-law, who claim to have been acting to defend “honour”. The woman was murdered in front of her father and brother. The young woman was first locked in a storeroom for three days, without food and water. Then, she was tortured viciously, and killed in front of her father and brother.

Rather than apprehend the murderers, the local police of Jacobabad, Sindh Province, helped them flee the scene and take shelter in other province at the house of a politician. Furthermore, the Larkana Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), Mr. Saeen Rakhio Meerani, has transferred the case to another city in an effort to provide impunity to the killers. No one has been arrested one month since the murder. A jirga, the illegal and unconstitutional court run by feudal lords of different tribes, is pressuring the woman’s family to take back the case filed against the perpetrators.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Bhindar Sangat, Hyderabad, about an “honour” killing. The case details are as follows:

Ms. Tahira Bano Khoso (21), was a resident of Shah Ghazi Mohalla, Jacobabad, Sindh, and married to Mr. Waqar Umrani, resident of Dangar Mohalla, Jacobabad. Waqar is a landlord and is a member of the ruling party of Sindh, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and he married Tahira on 30 March 2014. Since the wedding, Waqar had been pressuring his wife in order to obtain money from her parents, who are also landowners in Sindh.

Finding his in-laws to be weak, Waqar began beating his wife and using and other violent methods to torture her. As a result, Tahira’s parents began providing Waqar this dowry money. However, a few days before Tahira’s murder, her parents stopped sending money to Waqar. This infuriated him. A new round of violence commenced. Waqar now began beating Tahira with iron rods, and windshield wipers; he routinely suffocated her with the wire of a cell phone charger; and he slashed at her hands with shaving razors.

On the day of the murder, 19 March 2015, a maid in Waqar’s house telephoned Tahira’s mother to come over immediately as Tahira had suffered severe injuries. The maid told Tahira’s mother that Tahira had been detained in a room for three days without food and water, and that now she was being beaten and injured by her husband, his brother, and two nephews. Tahira’s mother, father, and brother immediately reached Waqar’s house; there they found Tahira’s being relentlessly slapped and beaten with a stick by four persons including her husband. Blood was oozing from both of Tahira’s arms, which had been cut by a razor. She was almost unconscious.

Tahira’s brother, Khalid Mehmood Khosa, and her father intervened. Khalid was also attacked, punched and beaten with sticks, and his cell phone was snatched away because he was trying to contact the police helpline. Tahira hid behind her father and asked for help.

But, Waqar pushed and her and shouted, “you cannot die until I kill you”.

He then shot her point blank in the head and Tahira died on the spot.

Since the murder, the perpetrators and, particularly Tahira’s husband, are attempting to hide behind the feudal custom of “honour” killings in order to justify their actions and get away scot-free.

Reports published in the media allege that Waqar’s younger brother, Mr. Fareed, who is also known as Comrade Umrani, who had been in hiding in a nearby location has been helped by DIGP Saeen Rakhio Meerani to leave Sindh Province and settle in Balochistan Province, where his party leader and former provincial minister, Mr. Sadiq Umrani, lives. On 3 April 2015, the DIGP has also transferred the murder case to Shaikarpur District, another district, which is 25 kilometers from the site of the murder. The DIGP is also pressuring family members of the young women to settle the matter outside court and withdraw the case of intentional murder.

When the Tahira’s body was being taken to the hospital her father and brother found that her body was riddled with marks of injury: both her hands had been cut with blades, her leg was broken, and there were severe torture marks on her ribs and there were marks showing that she had been burned with lit cigarettes. According to the post mortem report, Tahira was already close to death as a result of her torture, the final gun shot only ended her last breaths.

The City Police Station of Jacobabad has filed a First Information Report (FIR) again five persons: the husband, his brother, two nephews, and one servant. However, since the murder, one month has passed and none of the accused has been arrested. Instead, perpetrators have been assisted in their attempts to abscond till the feudal parallel court, the Jirga, decides the case and exonerates the killers on the pretext of this being an “honour” killing.

To provide impunity to the killers, higher-ranking police officials have changed the Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Lashari as well as the Investigation officer and appointed a new SHO and Investigation officer so that they will delay the process and scuttle the “investigation”.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

In Pakistan, wherever feudal lords dominate honour killings are common phenomena; women are targeted and killed brutally. In Muslim society the “honour” of the family is linked with religious practice. This practice of killing in the name of honour is not restricted to Pakistan, geographically speaking; overseas Pakistanis also carry this mindset with them, and even in the civilized societies of Great Britain, Canada, USA, and other European countries, honour killings recur. Every year in Pakistan, about 1000 to 2000 women and men are killed in the name of this centuries old custom of crime. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a non-government organisation, has stated in its annual report that in 2013 more than 800 women were killed in the pretext of defending honour.

According to Human Rights Watch, “Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.”

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write the letters to the authorities calling them to take immediate action against the police officials of Jacobabad, Sindh, for failing to arrest the killers of an innocent 21-year-old woman, who has been murdered under the pretext of an “honour” killing. The Sindh government must also arrest and prosecute the DIG police, Mr. Saeen Rakhio Meerani, for helping alleged perpetrators run and hide till the illegal tribal court system of Jirga can decide in favour of the perpetrators. The DIG must also be prosecuted on charges of transferring the murder case to another district and pressuring the family of the victim to settle the case and withdraw the charges. The perpetrators must be arrested immediately otherwise the victim’s family will only face more threats.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women calling for his/her intervention into this matter.

To support this case, please click here:

 

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ………………..,

PAKISTAN: Husband kills wife with pretext of defending “honour”; Sindh government supports murderer

Name of victim: Ms. Tahira Bano Khoso 21, resident of Shah Ghazi Mohalla, Jacobabad, Sindh Province
Names of alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Waqar Umrani, resident of Dangar Mohalla, Jacobabad, Sindh Province
2. Mr. Freed alia Comrade Umrani, resident of Dangar Mohalla, Jacobabad, Sindh Province
3. Mr. Saeen Rakhio Meerani, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Larkana, Sindh Province
4. Mr. Abdul Qadoos Kalwar, Investigation Officer, Shikarpur District, Sindh Province
Date of incident: 19 March 2015
Place of incident: Mohalla Dungar, Jacobabad, Sindh Province

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding brutal murder of a 21 old young lady after severe torture on the pretext of honour killing in Jacobabad district. The killers are members of a ruling political party in the province and are powerful persons. It is ironic that the ruling party, PPP, is using all its efforts to protect the killers and being a secular political party taking the shelter behind the centuries old tribal customs of honour killing.

I have received the information that Ms. Tahira Bano Khoso (21), was a resident of Shah Ghazi Mohalla, Jacobabad, Sindh, and married to Mr. Waqar Umrani, resident of Dangar Mohalla, Jacobabad. Waqar is a landlord and is a member of the ruling party of Sindh, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and he married Tahira on 30 March 2014. Since the wedding, Waqar had been pressuring his wife in order to obtain money from her parents, who are also landowners in Sindh.

Finding his in-laws to be weak, Waqar began beating his wife and using and other violent methods to torture her. As a result, Tahira’s parents began providing Waqar this dowry money. However, a few days before Tahira’s murder, her parents stopped sending money to Waqar. This infuriated him. A new round of violence commenced. Waqar now began beating Tahira with iron rods, and windshield wipers; he routinely suffocated her with the wire of a cell phone charger; and he slashed at her hands with shaving razors.

I have learned that on the day of the murder, 19 March 2015, a maid in Waqar’s house telephoned Tahira’s mother to come over immediately as Tahira had suffered severe injuries. The maid told Tahira’s mother that Tahira had been detained in a room for three days without food and water, and that now she was being beaten and injured by her husband, his brother, and two nephews. Tahira’s mother, father, and brother immediately reached Waqar’s house; there they found Tahira’s being relentlessly slapped and beaten with a stick by four persons including her husband. Blood was oozing from both of Tahira’s arms, which had been cut by a razor. She was almost unconscious.

Tahira’s brother, Khalid Mehmood Khosa, and her father intervened. Khalid was also attacked, punched and beaten with sticks, and his cell phone was snatched away because he was trying to contact the police helpline. Tahira hid behind her father and asked for help. But, Waqar pushed and her and shouted, “you cannot die until I kill you”. He then shot her point blank in the head and Tahira died on the spot.

I am shocked to learn that since the murder, the perpetrators and, particularly Tahira’s husband, are attempting to hide behind the feudal custom of “honour”killings in order to justify their actions and get away scot-free.

It is disappointing to read reports published in the media that allege that Waqar’s younger brother, Mr. Fareed, who is also known as Comrade Umrani, who had been in hiding in a nearby location has been helped by DIGP Saeen Rakhio Meerani to leave Sindh Province and settle in Balochistan Province, where his party leader and former provincial minister, Mr. Sadiq Umrani, lives. On 3 April 2015, the DIGP has apparently also transferred the murder case to Shaikarpur District, another district, which is 25 kilometers from the site of the murder. The DIGP is also pressuring family members of the young women to settle the matter outside court and withdraw the case of intentional murder.

I am deeply saddened to learn that when the Tahira’s body was being taken to the hospital her father and brother found that her body was riddled with marks of injury: both her hands had been cut with blades, her leg was broken, and there were severe torture marks on her ribs and there were marks showing that she had been burned with lit cigarettes. According to the post mortem report, Tahira was already close to death as a result of her torture, the final gun shot only ended her last breaths.

The City Police Station of Jacobabad has filed a First Information Report (FIR) again five persons: the husband, his brother, two nephews, and one servant. However, since the murder, one month has passed and none of the accused has been arrested. Instead, perpetrators have been assisted in their attempts to abscond till the feudal parallel court, the Jirga, decides the case and exonerates the killers on the pretext of this being an “honour” killing. This is disappointing.

It is disheartening to note that to provide impunity to the killers, higher-ranking police officials have changed the Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Lashari as well as the Investigation officer and appointed a new SHO and Investigation officer so that they will delay the process and scuttle the “investigation”.

I, therefore, urge you to take immediate action against the police officials of Jacobabad, Sindh, for failing to arrest the killers of an innocent young woman who are trying to get away under the pretext of their cruelty being an “honour” killing.

The Sindh government must arrest and prosecute the DIG police, Mr. Saeen Rakhio Meerani, for helping the alleged perpetrators to run away till the illegal tribal court system of Jirga decides in favour of the perpetrators. He must also be prosecuted on for transferring the case of murder to another district and pressuring family members of the victim to settle the case and withdraw the charges. The perpetrators must be arrested immediately, otherwise threats to Tahira’s family will continue.

Yours Sincerely,

……………….

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Mian Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111+92 51 920 6111
E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk, pspm@pmsectt.gov.pk

2. Mr. Syed Qaim Ali Shah
Chief Minister of Sindh
The Government of Sindh Province
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 920 2000
Email: pressecy@cmsindh.gov.pk

3. Mr. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan
Minister
Ministry of Interior of Pakistan
R Block, Pak Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 51 9212026+92 51 9212026
Fax: +92 51 9202624
Email: interior.complaintcell@gmail.com, ministry.interior@gmail.com

4. Mr. Pervez Rashid
Minister
Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights of Pakistan
Old US Aid building
Ata Turk Avenue
G-5, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 9204108
Email: contact@molaw.gov.pk

5. Mr. Tahir Shahbaz
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 9213452
Email: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
High Court Building
Saddar, Karachi
Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9213220

Thank you.

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

Send an Appeal Letter

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : AHRC-UAC-035-2015
Countries : Pakistan
Issues : Impunity, Rule of law, Torture, Violence against women

Official Link: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-035-2015

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April 16th, 2015

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