In Pakistan, the blasphemy law has only acted as a catalyst to abuse the innocent in the name of religious honour. Is Islam so brittle and vulnerable that it can easily be dishonoured by a so-called 'insane' statement?
The Women’s Action Forum (WAF) and the Joint Action Committee Lahore (JAC) condemn in the strongest terms possible the unprovoked police brutality against members of the Alliance for the Repeal of Discriminatory Laws in Islamabad on May 2nd 2002.
Zafran Bibi's commission of Zina has not been established in court. She has been sentenced, on circumstantial evidence, for giving birth while her husband was in prison. The Federal Shariat Court has ruled that such evidence is inadequate.
Sindh High Court Hyderabad ordered the District and Sessions Judge Hyderabad to record the statement of a petitioner under section 164 Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. P.C.) and stopped her arrest under section 11/16 of Zina and Hudood Ordinance.
Women's Action Forum (WAF), Lahore expresses grave concern at the sentence of stoning to death of Zafran Bibi by the Sessions Judge Kohat, Mr. Anwar Ali. Zafran Bibi was sentenced on the basis of her statement before the court that she became pregnant and gave birth as the result of being raped by her husband's brother while the former was in jail. The male accused was acquitted.
Although friends in Pakistan clearly stated they wish to pursue this case by prioritising local pressure and working through the Pakistani legal system, local groups have however requested that international friends remain ready to launch an alert for action should the need arise. Pakistani women’s, human rights and lawyers’ groups have mobilised around the case. At this point they are prioritising local pressure and working through the Pakistani legal system as their strategy.