Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Daughters of Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir beaten, threatened with death

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has reported that the two daughters of human rights lawyer and UN Special Rapporteur Asma Jahangir, along with several friends, were attacked and threatened with death “by armed persons of the Pakistan Muslim League Q (PML-Q),” the ruling party, who claimed to be policemen. Two of them apparently were.

The daughters and their friends had been filming the ripped posters and banners of political parties after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. When Asma Jahangir learned that they had been detained at the PML-Q party office she went there immediately, but was refused entry -- the armed men "physically restrained her and threatened her with their guns." As the AHRC indicates, though, she gained entry by managing

  • “to climb the iron gate of the party office” where “she saw that her eldest daughter and her friends were detained by more than ten armed persons”
  • she also saw that her youngest daughter was being dragged into a separate room.
  • She immediately informed the police, who took the side of the armed men.
  • The police pressured the parents of the friends “that they should not report this incident otherwise the girls would be kidnapped, raped and killed.”
  • “The police also pressured the parents to stop Ms. Asma Jehangir from making this incident know and claimed that she would bear the responsibility for whatever might happen in the future.”

One of the most prominent human rights lawyers in Pakistan, Asma Jahangir is chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, current UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of religion or belief, and former UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The full text of AHRC press statement is available here.

1 comment:

Mandar said...

sad reflection on the affairs in pakistan ...let us hope although am not too optimistic, that elections bring some respite..and democracy is restored.going by the impartial judgments the pakistani judiciary in recent times, we still hve hope

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