Pakistan 2010: 19 media workers killed, 327 Wounded, 1500 retrenched

Islamabad, January 1, 2011

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has termed the year 2010 as one of the worst in the History of Pakistan which ushered into a grave yard for media related employees as 19 media persons lost their lives in target killing, bomb blasts, floods and suicidal attacks which is highest in this year in whole world.

According to the PFUJ as there was no protection of life, media persons continued to work under stress, and at least 19 media related employees lost their lives while at least 327 were wounded, tortured, and threatened by government agencies in Baluchistan. Over 238 media persons were implicated in criminal cases.

The year also witnessed record retrenchments of over 1500 media related employees including 850 media practitioners in the electronic and print media of Pakistan, without any legal formalities and payments of the legitimate dues.

The PFUJ further pointed out that despite heavy casualties of the media persons during performing the professional assignments the media houses have not taken any measures for their safety and training.

The brutality of the media tycoons can be judged from this hard fact alone that even cell phones and petty equipments are duty insured but they never bothered to realize the importance of human life which is far costlier than any material objects; and, did not care to provide insurance to media persons working in the hostile environments in the conflict zones.

The PFUJ further contended that the year 2010 proved another deadly year for media practitioners of Pakistan who were callously deprived by media owners of legitimate and fair wages, job security, life insurance, training, capacity building, while they were increasingly targeted by terrorists and pressure groups.

Highlighting ‘the plight of Pakistani media persons’ in the main representative body of the print and electronic media, the PFUJ observed during the whole preceeding year, media persons in Pakistan remained under clutches of ‘media owners’ and were forced to work without basic amenities including provision of clean drinking water, medical facilities, life insurance, security gadgets, wash-rooms, an unbiased gender policy, training for working in a hostile environment round-the-clock while media persons were employed on contract basis and deprived of benefits of provident fund, gratuity, pension, and no increase was made in their wages since July 1996.

‘A review of the year suggested that like the preceding years, from 1996 onwards, media persons were continuously denied their legitimate benefits by the owners, including a conducive working environment, security of job, wages under a government announced wage board and an unbiased gender policy, and the contract system introduced in media organisations by the media owners for media persons was not abolished’, the PFUJ asserted.

The PFUJ further pointed out that despite ever increasing incidents of killing, kidnapping, torture and intimidating, the media persons working in all parts of Baluchistan no remedial measures have been adopted by the concerned agencies to ensure their protection which is a constitutional as well as obligatory international protocol of the government.

Those killed during the proeceeding year include:
1. Hameed Marwat, TV artist (Quetta)
2. Ashiq Ali Mangi, reporter Mehran TV channel (Sindh)
3. Malik Arif, Samaa TV Cameraman (Quetta)
4. Azmat Ali, Correspondent Samaa (Orakzai Agency)
5. Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, reporter Hyderabad-based Daily Sindhu
6. Imran Ashfaq, correspondent Daily Assas (Karachi)
7. Shahid Square, correspondent Daily Assas (Karachi)
8. Faiz Mohammad Khan Sasoli, President Khuzadar Press Club
9. Abdul Haque, Security Guard, PBC Khuzdar (Baluchistan)
10. Asma Anwar of Nowshera
11. Mohammad Sarwar, Aaj TV crew driver (Quetta)
12. Cameraman Ejaz Ahmed Raisani (Quetta)
13. Misri Khan, senior journalists of Hangu (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa)
14. Mujeebur Rehman Saddiqui, senior correspondent Daily Pakistan
15. Mehar Mohammad Akmal, Reporter Punjab TV, Daily Asas
16. Abdul Hameed Hayatan, (Balochistan)
17. Altaf Chandio, President Mirpurkhas Press Club (Sindh)
18. Abdul Wahab, Express News (Mohmand Agency)
19. Pervez Khan, Waqt TV (Mohmand Agency)
20. Mohammad Khan Sasoli, correspondent Baluchistan Times, President Khuzdar Press Club.

The PFUJ said that ironically none of the killers of media practitioners who were killed after 9/11 were brought to justice so far which has aggravated the miseries of the deceased families as well as the media community. Moreover, majority of the media practitioners and media related employees who lost their lives were not compensated at par with the security personals.

“Situation in the Baluchistan province and Tribal Belts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa is very volatile for the media practitioners and a still more painful aspect of the same is that in both areas which are ridden by insurgency for almost over a decade, ninety-nine percent media practitioners of the same areas are neither regularly paid employees nor they are being provided any training for safety in the wake of reporting which further aggravated the safety of the life of the media persons”, said Shamsul Islam Naz, SG PFUJ.

The trend of kidnapping and torturing even killing has also attained a dangerous trend in these areas by unknown persons as well as security agencies yet there is none in the country to ensure the safety of the media persons.

Secretary Shamsul Islam Naz
Cellular +92(0)300 8665523 . +92(0)321 8665523

Shaheed Bibi Tasleem Solangi: Hyderabad police claim breakthrough

Shaheed Bibi Tasleem Solangi
Hyderabad police claim breakthrough in Tasleem Solangi case
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

By Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD: DIG Hyderabad Sanaullah Abbasi has claimed a breakthrough in the Tasleem Solangi honour-killing case, saying he has found out documents signed by the local Nazim of the area giving details of how the poor girl, who was thrown in front of hungry dogs, was actually treated like a “slave”.

The powerful tribesmen having the backing of local politicians had documented the whole process, which finally ended in her physical elimination. This is the first time a written clue has been found in an honour-killing case which might help the police frame the participants of a Jirga that actually documented the whole process.

Meanwhile, the clothes that Tasleem was wearing at the time of her death, which might serve as an evidence of how she died, are mysteriously missing. Investigation officer Abbasi has also rejected the post-mortem report of Tasleem Solangi as unauthentic.

Meanwhile, two persons provided the DIG evidence of how Tasleem was thrown in front of hungry dogs before she was shot dead. Abbasi found out how a Jirga was actually held, whose decisions were properly documented by the participants. Even the local Nazim, Saleem, was present there and he too put his signature on these documents, which now police have taken into possession and might use them in the court of law.

“I am shocked to read the document which was signed at the time of deciding the fate of this unfortunate girl,” said Sanaullah Abbasi while talking to The News from Khairpur after recording the statements of about 30 people on the first day of his investigation into this crime against humanity.

President Asif Zardari had appointed Sanaullah Abbasi as investigation officer after rejecting the findings of MNA Nafeesa Shah. The president was dissatisfied with the report submitted by Nafeesa Shah, daughter of Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, in whose constituency the murder took place.

Abbasi visited the village of Tasleem Solangi on Tuesday and interviewed the concerned people. He met the father of Tasleem Solangi, who confirmed that his daughter was subjected to the worst kind of torture before being killed. He explained to the officer how she was first made to run before the hungry dogs and later gunned down in front of his eyes.

Likewise, Sindhi journalist Ajeeb Lakhoo also recorded his statement in which he confirmed that he had seen the dog-bitten body of Tasleem lying in a pool of blood inside a police van. Talking to The News, Sanullah Abbasi confirmed that he had found out documentary evidence that a Jirga was held to decide the fate of Tasleem and none other than the local Nazim had signed those papers, which clearly showed that the girl was taken away from her second husband.

Abbasi said the Jirga had followed the official procedures of “handing and taking over” the girl as she was some sort of “commodity” and not a human being. Abbasi said the girl was taken forcibly from her husband belonging to the Kunhar tribe by her first Solangi husband after the Jirga decided that the accused husband would pay Rs 400,000 for remarrying the wife of Solangi tribesman.

He said the Solangi tribe took Rs 400,000 from the second husband of Tasleem but killed her afterwards. He said the father of the girl and the Sindhi journalist Ajeeb Lakhoo had confirmed that Tasleem was thrown in front of dogs.

Shaheed Bibi Rizwana: Another woman falls victim to honour killing

Shaheed Bibi Rizwana: Rawalpindi

RAWALPINDI: A 21-year old woman Rizwana Bibi became the latest victim of honour killing, succumbing to bullet injuries at the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) here on Monday. She was shot and wounded by ex-fiance inside the premises of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench on December 3.

The woman, admitted to the DHQ hospital after she was attacked by her ex-fiance Ghulam Hussain last Wednesday, battled for life for five days but in vain.

The lady was attacked when she was leaving after attending hearing in a case regarding quashment of an FIR registered against her husband with the Kalar Syedan police station by her brothers for kidnapping her.

As per details Ashfaq and Rizwana claimed to be legally married when they were produced before the court of a judicial magistrate in Rawalpindi district courts. The judge accepted the woman’s statement that she is with her husband and she wanted to live with him. The couple married without the consent of their family members on their own free will, which angered the girl’s family members who viewed it as against their family honour.

Rizwana’s brothers lodged an FIR against Ashfaq, his brother, mother and his sister for collaborating in the ‘offence’. The couple had filed a case before the LHC for quashment of FIR. The day when the girl was attacked she attended the proceedings in the court of Justice M A Zafar where she recorded her statement and the police also presented a report before the court. However, the police report presented stated that the ‘nikah nama’ which was documented in Bhakkar was fake.

Rizwana’s brother got registered an FIR against Ashfaq and his family with the Kalar Syedan police station on September 8 under Section 365-B.

On December 3, when Rizwana was coming out of the court, her ex-fiance Ghulam Hussain opened fire on her. She sustained bullet injuries on head, lungs, and belly and on one leg. Police arrested Ghulam Hussain and admitted Rizwana Bibi to the hospital in critical condition where she succumbed to injuries five days later.

The News International

Pakistan: 2,531 incidents reported in three months, says report

Friday, November 14, 2008
By by Myra Imran

A quarterly report on the situation of violence against women shows a sharp increase in such cases during the last three months as compared to previous two quarters.

Released by Aurat Foundation on Thursday, the third quarterly report 2008 is a collection and compilation of statistics on the incidents of violence against women during July to September under its National Programme ‘Policy and Data Monitor on Violence against Women.’

Presenting the findings to mediapersons, Member Watch Group on Violence against Women Aliya Mirza said that 2,531 incidents of violence against women were reported during the last three months as compared to 1,705 between April and June and 1321 from January to March.

She said that in the third quarter, reported cases of abduction (601) were much more in number as compared to the first two quarters. “In the first quarter the ratio was 246 and in the second it was 356,” she pointed out.

Expressing concern over the increase in number of suicide cases, Aliya said that 216 women committed suicide in the last quarter as compared to 66 in the first and 126 in the second quarter of the year.

She said that the highest number of cases were reported in Punjab (1,582) with Balochistan ranked the lowest at 220 whereas 66 such incidents happened in Islamabad. She made it clear that if cases were not reported in newspapers that did not mean that no violence took place in those areas.

Aliya said that the most honour killing cases were reported in Sindh (70) with Balochistan (49) standing second. “Most cases of rape and gang rape were reported in Punjab i.e. 127 and 100 respectively,” she said adding that out of 441 murder cases of women, 242 were reported in Punjab, 129 in NWFP and 50 in Sindh.

Representing Aurat Foundation, Rabia Shah said that the report aims to identify the number of cases of violence against women in order to mobilise the social pressure against the menace. “This data would in the long run provide policy and law reform input to legislators,” she said.

Keeping in mind the sharp increase in number of cases, she demanded that the government immediately pass legislation on violence against women to provide them legal protection. “Continuous increase in number of such cases indicates that we still need to do a lot in this direction,” she said.

Director Potohar Organization of Development Advocacy (Poda) Samina Nazir stressed the need for developing a mechanism through which the data about such incidents could be collected at the district level.

“Violence against women is a persistent problem in Pakistan and around the world and it affects women’s social and economic equality, physical and mental health and economic security.”

Report reveals horrors of violence against Turkish women

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As part of its activities to mark today’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Konya-based Compassion Association (Şefkat-Der) has prepared a report titled “Excuses for Domestic Violence in Turkey and Recommendations from Women Victims on How to Avoid Violence.”

The report is the result of the association’s findings after speaking with the 9,000 women and girls who have fallen victim to domestic violence and sought shelter with Şefkat-Der, which runs women’s and refugees’ shelters and works on behalf of oppressed peoples, since 1995.

The ‘reasons’ Turkish men abuse women
The report details the excuses Turkish men use for beating their wives:
“The woman’s not wanting to engage in sexual activity, the woman’s gaining weight, her inability to bear children or her not bearing a male child, the food she’s cooked being too salty, burnt, cold or not according to the man’s tastes, not doing a good job ironing his clothing, being late in answering the door when he’s come home and knocked, the woman’s getting ill or not getting better after getting ill, leaving the home without permission, a couple’s child being unsuccessful, the home’s heater not being turned on, a child not looking like its father, the woman’s wanting a divorce, the woman’s interference in the man’s relationship with another woman, the working woman’s not giving her husband her entire salary, the refusal of ‘berdel’ [a type of arranged marriage], the woman’s wanting to work, the man’s being unemployed, family financial difficulty, the man’s soccer team losing a match, being warned by his wife about his alcoholism or gambling addiction, an argument between men about ‘machismo.’”

The report also lists some of the disturbing forms of domestic violence men employed against these women, including the “striking of the face, eyes, head, chest, back and knees by punching, kicking, caning or using a belt.”

Some further extremes include slinging caustic liquids such as acid at women’s faces and eyes, pouring boiling-hot water, tea or coffee on her, extinguishing cigarettes directly on women’s exposed skin and wounding women using knives and guns.

Forms of violence that aggrieve women the most

Şefkat-Der’s report says the women — most of whom experience violence through no fault of their own — were most upset by violence that “took place in front of their children, guests or relatives at home or strangers in the street.”

Visible marks left by the violence they were subject to also increased the degree to which women were upset over the incidents.

The women themselves gave recommendations for the prevention of violence, which are also included in the report’s text.
Some of them recommended that women in abusive situations reciprocate the type of abuse they are receiving, dealing the same treatment out to the man that he deals her.
Others recommend tougher prosecution of domestic offenders and for the men who beat women to be forced to undergo mental or psychological therapy, in addition to anti-violence ads being posted on television, the Internet, newspapers and municipal billboards.
A number of the women recommend a system be implemented that allows for identity change, aesthetic surgery and 24-hour protection for women victims of violence.

Women’s violence in Turkey
In a statement yesterday, Turkish Psychiatry Association President Şeref Özer drew attention to the fact that 88 percent of the nearly 20 percent of unemployed Turks are women, saying that for many of them the home is a place of unspoken, hidden abuse at the hands of relatives, fathers, husbands and boyfriends. He recalled that killings, torture, forced suicide and violence in the name of “honor” or “morality” still occur frequently in Turkey. In the “Violence against Women in Turkey” report prepared this year by academics Ayşe Gül Altınay and Yeşim Arat, it was revealed that a shocking one out of every three women in Turkey are subject to physical violence, Özer noted.

Shaheed Bibi Tahira Naheed Tabbasum: Pakistan/Denmark, June 19/08

Man affirmed ‘Proclaimed Offender’ in Danish wife assassination case

Khadijah Shah

KHARIAN, PAKISTAN: A man, who plotted the murder of his wife, has been declared a proclaimed offender by the Additional District and Sessions judges.

The case had been submitted in the court of Additional district and session Judge Kharian on August, 15 2008. During the proceedings, the prosecution lawyers Baqar Ali Naqvi, Ali Ashtar Naqvi and Arshad Javed Chugtai pleaded that arrest warrants for Shahbaz be issued and in case of non-appearance, he should be declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ and to then bring charges against him under the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code.

According to details, a woman named Tahira Naheed Tabbasum was murdered on June 19, 2008 in village Jura, Kharyan, District Gujrat. Tahira was born and brought up in Denmark. She had relatives in Jura village, and in line with the customs of the family and in obedience to her father, she agreed to marry within her relatives. She came to Pakistan ten years back to contract marriage with Shahbaz Ahmad, and then returned to Denmark. She sponsored and brought her husband to Denmark within two years of their marriage.

The couple had two daughters and a son. The son died in childhood. The age of the daughters now is 8 and 6 years.

Shaheed Bibi Tahira Naheed Tabbasum had life insurance in Denmark, and also owned property in both countries. It appears that her husband brought her to village Jura in Pakistan for the purpose of usurping her property but on the pretext of acquiring an ‘Islamic education for the girls’. As well, sources believe, he was interested in marrying another woman in Denmark, and wanted to get the first wife out of his way.

He came to Pakistan in the month of April, took into confidence his father Bashir Ahmad and brothers Faisal Bashir, Sheraz Bashir and Muhammad Nawaz, and offered them a share in her property in exchange for their help in killing her. After that, the husband went back to Denmark to prove his non-involvement with the planned murder of his wife. However, he was constantly in communication with his father and brothers over the phone.

On the fateful night of June 19, 2008, Shahbaz’s father and brothers entered the room of Shaheed Bibi Tahira Naheed Tabbasum and opened fire at her, killing her instantly.

On October 15, 2008, the trial court after recording the statement of the process server, declared Shahbaz a proclaimed offender. His everlasting warrants were issued with the directions to the SHO concerned to put the name of the culprit in POs’ list. The court also ruled that he is preceded under section 512 CrPC and the evidence recorded in his absence would be used against him as per law, whenever the PO accused would be arrested.

It is to be noted here that Shahbaz is the person who masterminded the murder of his wife to grab her property. In this connection, the Interpol and the Nordic Police Liaison office, Islamabad is constantly contacting Gujrat DPO Tahir Alam to issue them the prescribed form in compliance with the court order, so that International Red Notice could be issued against the culprit to bring him in the custody of the local police.

Ferhan Mazher
Chairman (Rays of Development Organization, Sargodha, Pakistan)

Curbing jail riots impossible without prison reform: HRCP


Posted October 21, 2008 by HRCP

Press Release, October 17, 2008

Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern at recent incidents of prison unrest in the country and asked the government to undertake urgent prison reform instead of depending on short-term measures.

In a statement issued on Friday, HRCP said:

‘The recent rioting in prisons of Hyderabad, Karachi, Multan and Timergara and the loss of life there is tragic but unfortunately not unexpected. These incidents are a result of problems left unresolved for decades.

‘The issue is certainly bigger than prison riots or attempted jailbreaks alone. Appalling overcrowding, rampant corruption, torture, unhygienic food, lack of health facilities and staff training, tardy judicial process, inefficient investigation and prosecution are all key issues that have not been addressed and cannot be wished away.

‘Numerous committees set up in the past 20 years for prison reform have danced around these issues without meaningfully tackling them. Many useful proposals advanced by them have been ignored.

‘Measures such as suspending jail officials, registering cases against prisoners accused of rioting, and shifting detainees to other jails to avoid recurrence skirt the real issue. Reported torture and beating of prisoners following the riots is no solution, nor is providing police more teargas shells and smoke bombs, as is being considered following the riot in the Hyderabad jail.

‘According to the jail surgeon, the prisoners shot dead during rioting at Karachi’s Malir District Jail by guards had all been shot in the head or chest. This is hardly the ideal method for riot control or a use of minimum force needed to quell the rioting and points to deficient training for jail staff at the very least.

‘The top leadership of the country is aware of the problems facing the prison system as they too have served extended jail terms. They have also suggested immediate remedial measures, which must be implemented.

‘Prisoners’ rights, including their right to life and dignity, must be observed in all circumstances and their safety ensured. Punishments other than penal servitude should also be considered, especially for petty crimes, to reduce population of jails already holding prisoners many times over their capacity. Prisoners must also be allowed communication with their family and lawyers via phone, at least under supervision. The criminal justice system needs to be reviewed and an adequate number of judicial officers ensured to tackle undue delay in deciding cases. The approach toward the prison system needs to be changed — the prisoner and the jailer both need to be humanised and terms of service of jail staff improved. A change in the Code of Criminal Procedure in October 2001 took away a provision regarding mandatory bail to prisoners whose trial had not begun for two years. This was presumably done to deny the provision’s benefit to political prisoners, but has led to massive swelling in the prison population.

‘The government must earnestly pursue a crash programme to deal with the issues and ensure that reforming prisoners must be central to any prison reform initiative.’

Asma Jahangir
Chairperson, HRCP

Man who tried to murder sister sentenced to 14 years in jail

“Acts such as the defendant’s bear no honor. They bear only shame and disgrace. The court is disgusted by the defendant’s decision to be his sister’s executioner and by the fact that her life meant so little to him… and all just to be perceived as someone protecting his family’s reputation.”

Sharon Roffe-Ofir
09.28.08/ Israel News

The Nazareth District Court sentenced Khaled Muslemi, 24, to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of his sister.

According to the indictment, Muslemi, a resident of the Arab Village Of Naura in the Jezreel Valley, decided to execute an “honor killing” in March, after hearing rumors that his sister was behaving promiscuously.

He convinced her to accompany him to a field near their village, where he pulled out a gun and shot her in the head, the shoulder and the leg from a distance of three feet. He then called the Gilboa Region Magen David Adom station and confessed to the murder.

The woman, gravely injured but still alive, pretended to be dead, thus averting further shots. Her resourcefulness saved her life.

The prosecution asked the court to sentence Muslemi to 15 years in prison, but the defense asked to court for a lighter, 11-year sentence, citing extreme emotional duress.

“The despicable, repetitive phenomenon of murder and the attempted murder of innocent women under the pretence of ‘honor killings’ must be condemned in the harshest manner possible,” noted the court.

“Acts such as the defendant’s bear no honor. They bear only shame and disgrace. The court is disgusted by the defendant’s decision to be his sister’s executioner and by the fact that her life meant so little to him… and all just to be perceived as someone protecting his family’s reputation.”

The three judge panel sentenced Muslemi to 14 years in jail, with an additional thee years probation.

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