Annual Report: Pakistan 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Pakistan 2010

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  • In NWFP and the tribal areas, Taleban groups closed or burned down girls' schools, forced women to wear a veil and prohibited them from leaving their homes unless accompanied by male relatives. Several women were punished, shot dead or mutilated for alleged "immoral" activities. Legal redress sought for abuses of women's rights remained difficult to obtain.
  • On 27 April, Ayman Udas, a Pashtun singer from Peshawar, was shot dead, reportedly by her two brothers who viewed her divorce, remarriage and artistic career as damaging to family honour. No one was arrested.

Children's rights

Child labour, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and forcing girls into marriage to settle disputes continued. The government rarely took action to prevent such abuses or to ensure punishment of the perpetrators. In October, the Sindh Assembly heard that 4,367 child labour victims had been recovered between May 2008 and April 2009 in that province alone and handed over to an NGO for their rehabilitation.

The army on several occasions presented children to the media, stating that they had been found in Taleban camps where they were allegedly trained for suicide missions.

  • In August, 11 boys, including three apparently under 10 years old, appeared before journalists in Mingora "visibly traumatized". They said that they had been held in Taleban camps along with hundreds of other boys.

The Juvenile Justice System Ordinance of 2000 remained inadequately implemented. Its provision to detain children separately from adults remained unimplemented.

Death penalty

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan recorded 276 new death sentences, with 7,700 people remaining under sentence of death. No executions were carried out.

Promises made in 2008 to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment remained unfulfilled. In September, President Zardari called on provincial governments to submit recommendations on commuting the death penalty to prison terms of 24 to 30 years. On 31 August, the Supreme Court suspended an order passed by the Lahore High Court in April under which death sentences would not be imposed on women and juveniles in narcotics cases.

Amnesty International visit/reports

An Amnesty International delegate visited Pakistan in May.

Pakistan: Resolve hundreds of Baluch "disappearances" (25 February 2009)
Pakistan: Lahore attack shows government must do more to protect civilians (5 March 2009)
Pakistan: Government should take concrete action to amend or abolish the blasphemy laws within a year (10 August 2009)
Pakistan: Amnesty International welcomes Supreme Court move to hear disappearances cases (20 November 2009)
Pakistan: Government must prepare for South Waziristan displacement crisis (16 October 2009)