ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-226-2011
28 October 2011
PAKISTAN: A case of male lust and woman's treatment as sexual commodity--a teenage girl was gang raped for one year by army and police officials
ISSUES: Rape, illegal detention, child rights, torture, gender biased violence, miscarriage of justice, impunity
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a teenage girl was repeatedly raped by several persons in the captivity of army and police officials for almost one year. She was arrested by the police officers in the presence of an army officer and remained missing since then. She is now six months pregnant. When the girl was sold by the perpetrator she managed to escape from those who were holding her captive at that time. She was able to call her brother and managed to reunite with her family.
The provincial police did not act in accordance with their sworn duty for the recovery of the girl during her entire period of captivity. Similarly the courts did nothing to assist and the perpetrators were granted bail by the High Court. A high-level inquiry committee of the provincial government has recommended the arrest of police officials but to-date neither the police officers nor the army personnel have been arrested.
Her case exposes the weaknesses of the rule of law, justice system, the collusion of forces of law and order with the powerful element of the society, the fact that Pakistan is a male dominant society and the status of poor women as a sexual commodity before the affluent members of society.
(The information was received from SPARK, UN Women-KP/FATA, CRSD and Provincial Commission on the Status of Women Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Daily TheNews.)
A 16 year old girl, Miss Uzma Ayub, the daughter of Mohammad Ayub, a daily wage earner, resident of Marwataan Banda, Tehsil Tkht-e-Nasrati of Karak district, Khyber Pakhtoon Kha province, was abducted from her house in early October 2010 when police along with an army man raided her house in the search of her brother who was wanted by the police in a theft case.
After her escape from the captivity (on September 19, 2011), Uzma states before the media that she was dragged by the hair into a waiting car, handed over her family's enemies who took her away to an unknown place and locked her in a room. At night several men came into the room, including Dr. Iqbal who gave her an injection and she fell unconscious. She thinks she was shifted two times and every time before the shifting, Dr. Iqbal would give her an injection to make her unconscious. She was sexually assaulted by several men, including Naseeb Ullah, an army officer, Sardar Ali, Shakeel, Guley, Karim, Qamar Ali, Hakim Khan, a police officer, and Alam Ustad during her incarceration. ''These people kept me at their house, where Mst Guleena and Shakeel came and spent some time with me. Then came Dr Iqbal in the room. He administered me an injection and I fell unconscious. When I regained my senses, I noticed that I had been shifted to another location. I did not know anybody there. After some time, Qamar Ali alias Guley and Karim visited me.''
In the statement she alleged: ''In that house Naseebullah, a brother of Guley, visited me and forced me to marry him. Same night Naseeb Ullah's son visited me and raped me. Qamar Ali Khan, Karim and Alam also raped me. Two police officials, one named Hakim, used to frequently visit me to satisfy their lust. I don't know the name of the other cop but can recognise him if he is produced before me.''
The wronged girl said: "All the people mentioned are involved in my abduction and molestation. I charged these persons with ruining my life and making me pregnant. In the house when I was drugged and raped second time, the people over there told me that I had been sold to them and they were taking me to Dera Ismail Khan and when they stopped at Bannu, I escaped from their captivity." This proved Uzma's salvation as she got out and ran into a nearby shop. She managed to get to a Public Call Office and telephoned her eldest brother, Alam Zeb who advised her to reach the Bannu bypass. Uzma had Rs.300/- tied in her 'Narha', a common practice in the rural areas and she was thus able to telephone her brother and take a taxi to reach her brother. Alam Zeb was able to find her.
He took her straight to the Tehsil Court, Takte Nasrati. The enemies tried to obstruct their entry by appearing in a number of vehicles but they managed to make their statement before their arrival. The Judge telephoned the Crimes Investigation Branch and Uzma and her family went to Peshawar to have her statement recorded. In her statement she accused police personnel SHO Mohsin Ali, ASI Hakeem Khan, Amir Ali and Naseeb Ullah, the army officer, of sexually abusing her. In all, she named 13 persons as involved in her abduction and rape.
The victim told the provincial high court that she was pregnant. A lady doctor Zakia conducted the medical examination of the girl and declared that she was six months pregnant.
It must also be acknowledged that in the cases of rape and abduction of women the attitudes of the courts is not sympathetic. Before her escape on September 19, 2011 the case of her abduction, on the complaint of her mother was under process but the courts were unable to recover her. In the month of April 2011 the Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court took the case and converted it into a writ petition but it has never been reached to provide justice to the victim in her recovery. The victim's family has to face the dates of the hearing and observe the court's impotency before the police and administration. It can be observed by the proceedings of the court that it ended without any conclusion. The alleged perpetrators were arrested but were immediately released by the court on the grounds that girl was not recovered.
On April 5, 2011, a two-member bench comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Yahya Afridi had directed the district police officer to trace the kidnapped girl when the girl's mother had alleged that her daughter, then a student of 9th grade, had been kidnapped by police officials including SHO Pir Mohsin Shah, Sub-Inspector Hakeem Khan and Amir Muhammad during an illegal raid on her house. She had sent an application to Chief Justice of the PHC Ejaz Afzal Khan who had later converted it into a writ petition. The Karak DPO, Sajid Khan Mohmand, appeared before the court and contended that on the complaint of the female, the police had registered an FIR at the Takht-e-Nasrati Police Station in Karak. Police had raided several places but could not recover the girl. He had added that four persons earlier charged by the complainant had been granted bail by a local court. A brother of the alleged kidnapped girl, Alamzeb Khan, had told the court that the family had learnt that his sister had been taken to Quetta by an army man, Naseeb Ullah Khan. He stated that although the family had named him the local police did not arrest him. He had stated that the local police had also implicated him in different cases. The DPO had stated that the complainant had not charged the said person in the initial statement. The PHC chief justice on April 06, directed the Karak DPO to contact the station commander of the Pakistan Army in Quetta to search for the teenage girl who, according to her family members was being illegally held by a serving soldier after her alleged abduction by the local policemen. Alamzeb Khan, the brother of the kidnapped girl, informed the court that his family had received information from reliable sources that his sister was in illegal detention of the main accused Naseeb Ullah, who was an army man and currently serving in Quetta. The bench had directed the Karak DPO to record a supplementary statement of the girl's brother against Naseeb Ullah in the case. The bench also directed him to send a senior police officer to Quetta to discuss the girl's abduction with the station commander, seek her recovery and pursue abduction charges against the soldier. He later fixed April 21 for the next hearing into the case.
The April 21 was fixed by the court but no further proceedings in regard to her recovery or arrest of army officer were seen.
The Provincial Commission on the Status of Women, Khyber PakhtunKha, issued a fact finding report which was complied by a team of different rights organizations including, Child Welfare and Protection Commission, Shirkat Gah, Blue Veins, Khwendo Kor,CRSD and SPARC. The report says that the story has many threads to it and like a fiction story is a case of family quarrels, exploitation of the poor and weak by the better off among the relatives, male lust, the collusion of the forces of law and order with the stronger element of the society. The forces of law and order have not only turned a blind eye to the tragedy of a family and the ruination of the life of an innocent life but have been openly and actively complicit in it. The girl was a victim of the most heinous form of abuse and violence and her family suffered untold pain and suffering.
The government of Khyber Pakhtunkha has formed a high level committee under the provincial home secretary after the revelation of victim's statement and media's vast coverage to probe in to the case. The committee recommended for the arrest of the police officials and conducting DNA test of the victim and the accused persons.
Uzma Ayub is the only daughter of Ayub Khan of Takhte Nasrati, a one-time sepoy in the Pakistan Army. She has six brothers and both parents are alive and witness to the tragedy of the ruined life of their only young daughter. According to her brother she was born in 1994 and at the time of her abduction she was a student of 9th Class. The family is of modest background and meager means of livelihood. They have relatives of stronger social and economic backgrounds, including a doctor and a teacher.
In the case of her abduction and repeated rape during the period of one year there were three main persons who used the influence and power of army and police. One is Dr. Iqbal whose son was abducted and killed, second is army man Naseeb Ullah, who wanted to marry with the victim when she was 13 year old and third one is police officer, ASI Hakeem Khan of Kark, who was notorious in his area where people are scared of cruelty of two persons, the Mangal Bagh of Tliban, and Hakeem Khan. In the area when ever powerful people want to take revenge from any body they take help from Hakeem.
In 2005, a young boy related to Dr. Iqbal was kidnapped and the family accused Uzma's brother, Alamzeb of the crime. Resultantly, Alamzeb spent 18 months in jail and was ultimately acquitted by the session Judge. The boy was killed by his kidnappers and his body was found in a field.
In another thread in the story, the mother of perpetrator, Naseeb Ullah (a married man but issueless and serving in the Pakistan Army) asked for Uzma's hand in marriage to her son.
Uzma's mother, due to their weak position in the village, did not reject the proposal but responded that her daughter was young and studying and she wanted to wait before getting her married. She also stipulated that Naseeb Ullah should take his wife's consent to the second marriage. The wife refused to consent to his second marriage and conveyed this personally to the girl's mother.
Sometime later, Naseeb Ullah came to Alamzeb's house and in a show of camaraderie and no grudges held, invited Alam Zeb to a local musical concert, but on his unwillingness, he made another story and got him to come to his ''baithak'' where there were two other guests, one from the village of Hakeem Khan, ASI, named by Uzma as one of the rapists. Subsequently, he was accused of theft of one of the guest's mobile phones which was stated to cost Rs. 50,000.00. The person who was supposed to have had his mobile stolen insisted on getting the same mobile back. Alamzeb kept denying the theft. Alam zeb even responded that he would pay the money if the persons accusing him swore on the Holy Quran over their head that the mobile was stolen.
Another incident of framing Alamzeb was at a football game in the village. A group of people loyal to the family of Dr. Iqbal and apparently with his connivance disrupted the game and started shooting. The men set upon Alamzeb and beat him severely. He also received a bullet in his thigh. Alam Zeb was accused of firing and a case registered against him.
There was a case of the abduction of Principal of a local school and the local people held a rally against the police for his recovery. Hakeem Khan, the ASI, had some persons from the underworld inducted into the rally. The demonstrators were surprised to hear voices that instead of chanting anti-police slogans were in raised in support of the police.
Please write the letter to the authorities showing your concerns about the injustice done to a poor girl and her family by the courts, police and army and ruined her life. Please urge the authorities to arrest all the perpetrators and prosecute them rather providing impunity to them. Also urge the government to provide medical treatment to the gang rape victim and security to her family members.
The AHRC writes a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of violence against women calling for his/her intervention into this matter.
PAKISTAN: A case of male lust and woman's treatment as sexual commodity--a teenage girl was gang raped for one year by army and police officials
Name of victims:
1. Miss Uzma Ayub, daughter of Mohammad Ayub, a daily wage earner
2. Mr. Alam Zeb, son of Mohammad Ayub, a daily wage earner
Both are residents of Marwataan Banda, Tehsil Tkht-e-Nasrati of Karak district, Khyber Pakhtoon Kha province
Names of alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Naseeb Ullah, Amy officer, stationed at Quetta, Balochistan province, resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
2. Dr. Iqbal, resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
3. Mr. Sajid Khan Mohmand District Police Officer (DPO), district Karak, Khyber Pakhtun Kha province
4. Mr. Mohsin Ali, station house officer (SHO), Takhte Nasrati police station, Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
5. Mr. Hakeem Khan, Assistant Sub Inspector, Takhte Nasrati police station, Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
6. Mr. Amir, ASP, Takhte Nasrati police station, Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
7. Mrs Guleena resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
8. Qamar Ali Khan, resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
9. Alam Sardar Ali, resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
10. Shakeel, Guley, resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
11. Karim Qamar Ali, resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
12. Alam Ustad, resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
13. Shakeel, resident of Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
Date of incident: October 2010
Place of incident: Tehsil Takhte Nasrati, Karak district, Khyber Pakhtunkha province
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding a teenage girl who was repeatedly raped by several persons in the captivity of army and police officials for almost one year. The victim, Miss Uzma Ayub, was a resident of Marwataan Banda, Tehsil Tkht-e-Nasrati of Karak district, Khyber Pakhtoon Kha province.
I am shocked to know that army and police officials kept them for one year in their captivity and authorities were failed to recover her until she came on surface after escape from the illegal detention on 19 September 2011.
This was a very shameful act of the government and authorities including the police, armed forces and the judiciary who abandoned a teen age girl to the mercy of her abductors and rapists. It can be stated clearly that the government is responsible for the destruction of her life.
I learned that Uzma was abducted when police, along with one army officer, Naseeb Ullah, raided her house in search of his brother in a theft case in early October 2010. She was dragged by the hair into a waiting car, handed over her family's enemies who took her away to an unknown place and locked her in a room. At night several men came into the room, including Dr. Iqbal who gave her an injection and she fell unconscious. She thinks she was shifted two times and every time before the shifting, Dr. Iqbal would give her an injection to make her unconscious. She was sexually assaulted by several men, including Naseeb Ullah, Sardar Ali, Shakeel, Guley, Karim, Qamar Ali, Hakim Khan and Alam Ustad during her incarceration. The last time she was in the custody of two turbaned persons who she suspects of having been sold to. She tried to get their confidence by telling them that she would not escape. One day, they came and informed her that they were taking her to D.I. Khan where she would reside permanently. They got her into a car and on the way they stopped in Bannu for some reason and got out of the car and went away. This proved Uzma's salvation as she got out and ran into a nearby shop. She managed to get to a Public Call Office and telephoned Alamzeb who advised her to reach the Bannu bypass. Uzma had Rs.300/- tied in her 'Narha', a common practice in the rural areas and she was thus able to telephone her brother and take a taxi to reach her brother. Alam zeb was able to find her.
Alamzeb took her straight to the Tehsil Court, Takte Nasrati. The enemies tried to obstruct their entry by appearing in a number of vehicles but they managed to make their statement before their arrival. The Judge telephoned the Crimes Investigation Branch and Uzma and family went to Peshawar to have her statement recorded. In her statement she accused Police personnel SHO Mohsin Ali, ASI Hakeem Khan and Amir Ali of sexually abusing her. In all, she named 13 persons as involved in her abduction and rape.
To my surprise the army has not taken any action against Naseeb Ullah, who is still serving in the military, after the Peshawar High Court in April 2011 ordered the station commander at Quetta to search for the girl and assure her safe recovery. But neither the police nor army took any action which means that the police and army institutions are complicit in such crimes.
I find it shocking that the role of the courts is no different from the police when the cases of violence against women and rapes come before them. The Peshawar High Court's different benches did not help in her recovery. Once the court ordered the police to arrest the perpetrators and after some days the court released them on bail on the grounds that girl was not recovered from them.
This is a sheer incompetence, negligence and a gender biased attitude on the part of the judiciary.
I am distressed to learn that her parents refused to marry her daughter with the army officer who wanted to make her as his second wife. The girl's age at that time was only 13 and perpetrator's age was 40, whereas his first wife had also refused him to grant permission for his second marriage.
The victim and her whole family are now under threat from the perpetrator and still they cannot find any protection from the authorities. They are in hiding and have stopped their children from attending school.
It is utterly shocking to realise that the perpetrators are so powerful that even after a committee, formed by the chief minister of Khyber Pukhtun kha for the investigation recommended that the perpetrators be arrested to date not a single person had been taken into custody.
I urge you to immediately arrest the perpetrators who are moving freely under the protection of police. They must be prosecuted for their heinous crimes. Furthermore, the police and judicial officers who turned a blind eye to the plight of this young girl must be dismissed from office. Also, the army must take action against an officer who participated in the prolonged abduction, rape and selling of this victim into sexual slavery. Protection and security must be provided to the victim and her family and the government should take responsibility for her medical treatment and provide compensation for her ordeal.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
4. Mr. Amir Haider Khan Hoti
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkha Province
Fax: +92 91 9210707
5. Mr. Basheer Ahmed Bilor
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkha Province
Fax: +92 91 921 2533
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