Pakistan: Tribal leaders, private jails & false imprisonment of women and children
We have recently received information from Asian Human Rights Commission that a tribal leader of Sindh province has held three women and two children in his private jail and one woman has been continuously raped for more than three years. She has had two children whilst in custody. The Sindh High Court and the provincial police have been unable to recover the five persons from his jail. The tribal leader held a Jirga, a parallel judicial system of feudal society announcing the murder of one of the men. This man and his wife were declared as Karo (black male) and Kari (black women).
The Kari woman is currently under his illegal detention and might be murdered at any time. The feudal lord is so powerful that on one occasion when a police party went to recover the Kari woman the henchmen of the tribal chief detained the policemen for several hours and only released them only after they gave assurances that they would not attempt to rescue the woman again. Please note that in 2004, the former chief justice of the Sindh high court has declared Jirga judicial system as illegal, ultra virus and unconstitutional but feudal and tribal lords know the writ of the high court.
Action Required by Asian Human Rights Commission:
Please write letters to the authorities urging them to recover three women and two minors from the private custody of the tribal chief of Chandio tribe and punish all the perpetrators keeping them in illegal detention at private jail and holding illegal court for murder of innocent people. Please also demand from the government to save the couple particularly Ms. Mukhtar Bibi from murder on the pretext of honour killings.
Sample letter is provided below along with a list of people who should receive it.
RE: PAKISTAN: A tribal court announces murder of a couple and High court has proved impotent before a feudal society
Name of victims:
1. Mukhtar Bibi alias Begum, 26 years, wife of Ghulam Mustafa Mugheri, missing since August 2009, Near Madressa Umer Farooqi, Korangi industrial area, Karachi, Sindh province 2. Mr.Ghulam Mustafa Mugheri son of Ali Mugheri, near Madressa Umer Farooqi, Korangi industrial area, Karachi, Sindh province 3. Mst. Gul Khatoon, 32years, first wife of Ghulam Mustafa Mugheri, kept in private jail since January 7, 2006, at Larkana road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber sub district, Larkana district, Sindh province 4. Ms. Hameeda alias Subhana, Mother of Ghulam Mustafa Mugheri and kept in private jail since 2006, at Larkana road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber sub district, Larkana district, Sindh province 5. Ms. Zameera Umri, age 9 years, nephew of Ghulam Mustafa Mugheri, kept in private jail since January 7, 2006, at Larkana road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber sub district, Larkana district, Sindh province 6. Master Menthar age 8years, son of Ghulam Mustafa Mugheri, kept in private jail since January 7, 2006, at Larkana road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber sub district, Larkana district, Sindh province Name of alleged perpetrators:
1. Haji Mashooq Chandio, resident of Sandoz Road, Jam Shoro Phatak, Jam Shoro district, Sindh province 2. Sardar Ahmed Chandio, son of Shabbir Ahmed Chandio, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 3. Khadim Hussain s/o Muhammad Laiq, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 4. Ghulam Umer s/o Muhammad Laiq Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 5. Hajji Hamid s/o Peyaro Khan Chandio, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 6. Hajji Muhammad Saleh s/o Muhammad Azeem Chandio, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 7. Hajji Mumtaz s/o Haji Ahmed Budhani Chandio, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 8. Mukhtair s/o Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 9. Haji Sikander Chandio, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 10. Muhammad Ramzan Mugheri, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 11. Aijaz Chandio, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province 12. Hub-e-dar Chandio, Larkana Road, Shahdad Kot, Qamber district, Sindh province Date of incident: January 7, 2006 and August 23, 2009 Place of incident: Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi, Sindh province.
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the alleged illegal detention of three women and two minors in the private jail of a tribal leader, Mr. Sardar Ahmed Chandio. The two women, Ms. Gul Khatoon and Ms.Hameeda, 60 years and two minors have been detained in a private jail since January 7, 2006.
During the period of continuous illegal detention Ms.Gul Khatoon was raped and has born two children as a result. Another woman, Ms. Mukhar Bibi was also abducted on August 23, 2009 and is being held in the same private jail.
I am shocked to know that the courts and police have done nothing to obtain the release of the women and minors and the powerful people are allowed to run private jails without any legal basis. It shows that the rule of law is totally broken in a country where the judiciary claims itself as an independent judiciary.
According to the information received from the husband of the alleged Kari woman and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an NGO, Mukhtar Bibi alias Begum, 26, was married to one Ghulam Mustafa Mugheri, a resident of Korangi Industrial area, Karachi, in the year 2005, as his second wife. Ms. Mukhtar Bibi was divorced by her first husband for not being able to bear children, the mother and maternal uncles persuaded Mr. Mugheri to marry her according to the instructions of Islam. Ms. Bibi's father, Haji Mashooq Chandio, was in those days in jail in Saudi Arabia on charges of smuggling drugs.
However, he was released on Sept 17, 2005 and returned to Pakistan. At that time he was totally broke and started black mailing his son-in-law. Mr. Mugheri somehow managed to pay the initial financial demands but being a worker at a tea company he could not continue to pay the huge amounts of money.
Mr. Haji Mashooq Chandio, enlisted the help of his tribal chief, Mr. Sardar Ahmed Chandio, and with the connivance of his henchmen on January 7, 2006, abducted Mr. Mugheri's first wife, Mst. Gul Khatoon, 32years, his 60 years old mother, Mst. Hameeda allies Subhana Umri, his 9 year-old niece Ms. Zameera Umri and his 8 years old son, from his first wife, Master Menthar.
They have since been in the private custody of Sardar Chandio and police have been powerless to recover them from this powerful person. It is alleged in a police report filed by Mr. Mugheri that Haji Mashooq sold Ms. Gul Khatoon, Mr. Mugheri's first wife to the tribal leader of the Chandio tribe, Mr. Sardar Ahmed Chandio. Whilst in detention Ms. Khatoon has been continuously raped and has born two children as a result.
Finding no way out of his financial problems, on August 23, 2009, Mashooq Chandio, the father-in-law, went to Mr. Mugheri's house in Mehran Town, Korangi along with six persons, and kidnapped his second wife, Ms. Mukhtar Bibi, at gun point. They were riding in a black-coloured Alto car and a yellow cab. After some days, Mugheri went to his father-in-law's house in Jamshoro district, along with a copy of the Holy Quran and his 9-day-old son, and requested his father-in-law to hand over his wife but he refused. On Sept 27, 2009, Mugheri filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) for the recovery of his wife, following which the honorable court ordered police to raid his father-in-law's house and recover his wife. On October 5, 2009, the High Court ordered the Nazir, the court search officer, to recover Mukhtar Bibi and search the places of tribal chief of Chandio tribe.
Before the court and police officials reach the place the Mukhtar Bibi was shifted to another location. The police learned that the victim, Mukhtar Bibi is alive and with Sardar Ahmed Chandio, the tribal chief, who was currently in Saudi Arabia. After that, the court did not take action.
Then on October 14, the tribal chief, Sardar Chandio, held a Jirga, an illegal court and declared that both, Mr. Mugheri and his second wife, Ms.Mukhtar Bibi, should be murdered in the name of honour as they are Karo and Kari. Before the holding of the Jirga, his father-in-law, Mr. Mashooq Chandio and the henchmen of Sardar Chandio on October 12, tried to abduct Mr. Mugheri from the premises of Sindh High Court Karachi, but the police saved him and gave him shelter in one of the rooms of the court.
Mr. Mugheri tried several times to take help from the police and the court and at last was successful in getting the attention of the Deputy Inspector of Police (DIG), Karo-Kari cell and recorded his statement under section 154 CrPc. The DIG sent a team under Ms. Soobia, the head of the Karo Kai cell, recently made by Sindh government. The team went to recover Ms. Mukhtar Bibi but came under attack by the henchmen of the tribal chief and two police officials were abducted and made hostages. After several hours the police officials were released on the assurance that they will make another attempt to rescue Bibi.
Subsequently the police have arrested two of the alleged abductors out of 12 persons but have not been able to recover the three women and two minors.
This is the situation of the rule of law in rural areas of the country where writ of the state is minimized and powerful people enjoy the fragile situation of the writ of the state. The High Court of the province has proved itself a subordinate of tribal leaders.
I urge you to recover the three women and two children from the custody of tribal leaders and their henchmen and prosecute the perpetrators including the police officials of the Qamber district, Sindh. An inquiry into the affairs of holding private jails in Sindh province must be conducted.
The case of rape during illegal detention should be lodged against the perpetrators.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani
Prime Minister House
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
2. Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan
Governor of Sindh province
Karachi, Sindh Province
Fax: +92 21 920 5043
Tel: +92 21 920 1201
3. Syed Qaim Ali Shah
Karachi, Sindh Province
Fax: +92 21 920 2000
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
4. Mr.Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani
Federal Minister for Human Rights
Ministry of Human Rights
Old US Aid building
Ata Turk Avenue
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
5. Ms. Tauqir Fatima Bhutto
Minister of women development
7th Floor, New Sindh Secretariat, Karachi, Sindh province
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
High Court Building
Fax: +92 21 9213220
7. Ms. Nadia Gabol
Minister for Human Rights
Government of Sindh,
Pakistan secretariat, Barrack 92,
Karachi, Sindh Province
Fax: +92 21 9207044
Tel: +92 21 9207043
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
8. Dr. Faqir Hussain
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
Fax: + 92 51 9213452
You will be able to send the letter to all 8 people in the list by copying and pasting address lines below.
'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; email@example.com.
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
- Addendum to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
- Afghanistan: Their lives on the line: Women human rights defenders under attack in Afghanistan
- Shirkat Gah Newsheet March 2015