The Human Rights Crisis in Northwest Pakistan

Publication Date: 
June, 2010
"As if Hell fell on me". The Human Rights Crisis in Northwest Pakistan

A comprehensive report of the human rights and humanitarian crises in the Northwestern province of Pakistan by Amnesty International in the context of the Taleban's control of some parts of the province and armed conflict with the Pakistan military. 

Pakistan: Women Intensify Push to Pass Law Against Acid Attacks

Publication Date: 
May 31, 2010
IPS News

KARACHI - Almost seven years after Naila Farhat, 20, became another victim of an acid throwing attack by a spurned suitor, she is finally seeing more vigorous efforts toward the passage of a law seeking to amend existing legislation to reinforce protection of women against violent assaults.

Pakistan: Freedom of Expression on Internet Must be Respected

Publication Date: 
May 21, 2010
Article 19
Article 19 Press Release

Decisions by a Pakistani High Court to ban numerous international websites and services violate international human rights law.

The Lahore High Court on 19 May ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to block the social network website Facebook and hundreds of other pages in response to a Facebook user calling for an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. The court later ordered the blocking of YouTube for the same reason. The ban has resulted in numerous other websites also being affected, including Flickr, Wikipedia, Google, Twitter, some parts of the BBC, and accessing the internet through the Blackberry mobile service. The Express Tribune has reported that the total number of blocked websites has reached 1,000.

Participants of a media forum held yesterday in Karachi to discuss the ban were attacked by protesters accusing the organisers of blasphemy.

Pakistan: Over 600 women killed in name of honour in 2009

Publication Date: 
March 31, 2010
Women are too often scared to report domestic violence. Photo: Kamila Hyat / IRIN

The Urdu expression `chaddar aur chardawari’ is often quoted in Pakistan to suggest that women are safest under their shawl (`chaddar’) and within the four walls (`chardawari’) of their home. This may hold true for many women, but for some, such as 25-year-old Naseeba Bibi, it could not be further from the truth. Naseeba said she had suffered continual abuse from her husband since they got married six years ago in Kasur, about 55km southeast of Lahore, Punjab Province.

“My husband is jobless and a drug addict. He slapped and beat me daily, sometimes with a stick. I still have scars on my back. Recently, he started to tell people I was involved with another man, and would kill me for `honour’. I believed this was his plan, as he wished to marry someone else,” she said.

So she ran away to Lahore with her three children - the youngest is seven months old - and now struggles to make ends meet by selling hand-crafted toys on the pavement.

Pakistan - After the Rape: the Mukhtar Mai Story (Film)

Publication Date: 
January, 2008

In 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a rural Pakistani woman from a remote part of the Punjab, was gang-raped by order of her tribal council as punishment for her younger brother’s alleged relationship with a woman from another clan. Instead of committing suicide or living in shame, Mukhtar spoke out, fighting for justice in the Pakistani courts—making world headlines. Further defying custom, she started two schools for girls in her village and a crisis center for abused women. Mukhtar, who had never learned to read but knew the Koran by heart, realized that only a change in mentality could break brutal, archaic traditions and social codes. Her story, included in the bestseller “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and the subject of Mukhtar’s own memoir, “In the Name of Honor”, has inspired women across the globe.

PAKISTAN: A Hindu girl has been abducted by a landlord and forcibly converted to Islam; the authorities have refused to intervene.


Pakistan: ‘Karo Kari’ victim’s family in Islamabad to seek justice

With his clothes ragged, face tired and body trembling, Dhatti Bakhsh Baloch entered ‘The News’ office here and narrated the story of her teenage daughter, who was allegedly killed in September last year by her husband Wahid Bakhsh with the help of his brothers in the wake of the centuries-old tradition of ‘Karo Kari’.

Shame: A documentary film about Honour Killings in Sindh, Pakistan

Publication Date: 
January, 2005

Synopsis: "Shame" is part of the honor killing awareness-raising campaign in rural Sindh and southern Punjab. The directors take to the road, documenting shocking interviews that uncover a deep-rooted gender bias in rural Pakistan as well as the first ever footage of a karion jo qabristan, an unmarked graveyard where victims of honor killing are buried without any ritual. An important and timely film.

PAKISTAN: ‘Eye for an Eye’ Judgment Hailed, Denounced

Pakistan: ‘Eye for an Eye’ Judgment Hailed, Denounced

Zofeen Ebrahim