ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-085-2011
28 April 2011
PAKISTAN: A Christian woman was raped for four days; the rapist identified himself as a senior officer in the Inter Services Intelligence Agency
ISSUES: Abduction; illegal detention; rape; violence against women; religious minorities
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a 24-year-old Christian woman was abducted and raped for a period of four days in different cities by a person who identified himself as a serving Major in the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) agency which is the intelligence wing of the Pakistan Army. A First Information Report was filed but the police have been unable to arrest him. After releasing the victim at the Faisalabad, Punjab province, railway station he threatened her that if she told anybody about the rape he would involve her parents in a bomb blast case.
Please send an urgent appeal to the authorities to arrest the rapist and initiate an enquiry into the involvement of an army officer in the abduction and rape of a Christian woman.
Ms. Sehar Naz, aged 24, from Christian Town, Faisalabad, Punjab province, works as a sales officer in the State Life Insurance, a government insurance company. She was going with her area manager and sales manager in their car to attend a conference on 14 April 2011. As the car reached the circuit road near the Serena Hotel crossing a person in a black shirt and trousers stopped the car and introduced himself as Arif Atif Rana, a Major in the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). He was standing with a traffic police official and asked the occupants of the car to show their identity papers. As he received the identity card of Sehar Naz he told the insurance officers that a call has been received by him against Sehar and that he wanted to take her for investigation. The insurance officers tried to prevent this but he threatened to kill them for interfering with his official work.
The insurance officers quickly lodged a police report on the same day at Civil Lines Police Station, Faisalabad, that she was abducted by an army officer who claimed that he was a Major in the ISI. The police lodged the FIR (First Information Report) with number of 454/11, but, as is common, did not pursue the case because of the involvement of the ISI.
Major Rana took her on his scooter to different places and then to his house in Samanabad, Faisalabad. He kept her at that location for two days and then took her to Lahore, the capital of Punjab province and raped her in his custody on each of these four days. On 18 April he dropped her at the Faisalabad railway station and threatened her that if she told anyone about the rape he would arrest her parents in a bomb blast case. He went on to say that it is easy to book Christians in any case.
When she was released her parents and the Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice & Peace Faisalabad office took the victim to record her statement before the police, (which was recorded on 19 April) and according to Ms. Naz the rapist was from the ISI and claimed to be of the rank of Major. The police then issued a certificate for a medical examination which proved that she had been sexually assaulted. She again confirmed to the police investigation officer, Assistant Sub Inspector Basheer that Major Atif Arif Rana had kidnapped and raped her at gun point but the police have made no move to arrest him.
Please send the urgent appeal by clicking blue button and sending faxes to the authorities calling for the prompt action in the case of rape of a Christian woman by a Major in the Inter Service Intelligence agency, the ISI, for four days at gun point while he kept her in illegal detention. Please also urge them to initiate an enquiry into the case. Medical treatment and compensation should be afforded to the victim for her rehabilitation.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Violence against Women and Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatment calling for their intervention into this matter.
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Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
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