World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Self-immolation of a rape victim before a police station

PAKISTAN: The self-immolation of a rape victim before a police station demonstrates the popular frustration about the breakdown of discipline

A girl commits suicide by self-immolation after her rapists bribed the police to release them. The state institutions remained as silent spectators

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information that an 18 year old student died in hospital after setting herself on fire in the front of a hospital, in Muzzafargarh, Punjab province where the chief minister of the province refers to himself as the ‘Khadim-e-Aala’, the servant of the people. The victim was among the hundreds of girls who are gang raped by powerful people every year.

The girl set fire to herself in protest against the injustice done to her on March 13 and she died in the Nishtar Hospital in Multan today.

Amna was gang raped by four persons on January 5 and since then authorities, instead of providing her justice supported the rapists. They are influential persons of the area, and the police exonerated them from the rape charges. The victim had lodged a First Information Report (the FIR), stating that she was on her way to college when the accused, Nadir Khan and his four accomplices gang-raped her near the Bait Mir Hazar Chowk. The police Sub- Inspector (SI) Zulfiqar, the investigation officer, conducted an investigation and declared the main accused, Nadir Khan, innocent after taking a bribe. The high police officers, including district police officer (DPO), Deputy Superintendent of Police and the Station House Officer (SHO) first refused to send a report request to the hospital for her medical test. After the protests from civil society and victim’s family the police sent the request to the hospital and the rape was confirmed by the medical report. The investigation official set the accused free despite proof of the crime in the medical report.

When Amna learned about the release of the accused she set herself on fire outside the police station. Despite the fact that Amna intentions were clear no officer from the station made any effort to stop her or assist her in any way. She was taken to the Tehsil Heaquarter Hospital, Jatoi, but due to the severity of her burns and her critical condition the doctors referred her to Nishtar Hospital Multan. The doctors said that Amna had suffered 70 percent burn injuries. She died in the hospital the following day. A strong protest was observed throughout the country after the news of her death was received.

When the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Jillani, received notice of Amna’s death he called for the administration to report on the causes of the negligence on the part of the provincial government and police for not providing justice to the 18 year old girl. The Khadim-e-Aala, the chief minister of the province, after receiving the news of the action from the Supreme Court, immediately ordered the arrest of the investigation officer and rapists. So far, one of the prime accused has been arrested along with investigation officer.

Today marks a day of shame for a country where the civilian government and police failed to protect the member of a gender that is suppressed at best. The corrupt action of the police officers involved led to the senseless death of an innocent girl who had the courage to file a report in a country where the rape of any women is considered to have been her own fault.

This is a blatant example of the failure of the rule of law which, apparently only applies to the wealthy and influential. Rape is prevalent in Pakistan there was a notable increase during the military regime of President (former general) Musharraf and is virtually sanctioned by the failure of the officials and the state itself to punish the perpetrators. This, of course, is an area of major concern for the international human rights community and women’s rights groups. Another cause is the increase in Islamic fundamentalism wherein it is taught that women are to be considered as mere chattels.

This is also a failure of the criminal justice system that is gender biased and male dominated which provides protection to any man when the victim is a woman. The case of Amna is ample proof that after receiving all the evidence by way of the medical report to support her claim of rape, the police and the administration went to such extent as to crush the law beneath their boots spit in the eyes of society. By exonerating the rapists after receiving their bribes they were more responsible for her death than the rapists themselves.

Amna’s case has seen so much coverage in the media but the chief minister of the province and his cabinet members have been not moved by her plight. This itself is proof positive of their uncaring and self-centered attitude towards that part of the community they are supposed to be serving. When the attitude of the authorities is such it is apparent that they have no respect for the rule of law.

Amna’s case is symbolic of the popular frustration in Pakistan about the breakdown of discipline in the country. No institution is function as expected and, in fact, everything has broken down shamelessly. The government of Pakistan and the entire political establishment contributes to this complete collapse of discipline by their refusal to take any serious notice of the situation. In fact, it is the government and the political establishment that should take the blame for the widespread rape and other harassments to women and every form of violence that paralyses the population. Murder not only goes unpunished but murderers are rewarded. Pakistan’s political community does nothing to stop this situation. It is the duty of civil society and the media in particular to wake up to the societal catastrophe that makes ifs women and all others its helpless victims.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>

    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>

    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news