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Rights group condemn harassment of women

2023 Apr 04, 16:56, Faisalabad [Pakistan]
Nasreen bibi's family in HRFP office

 Pakistan human rights group have condemned violence and harassment against women from minority communities in the country despite amendments in its law, which assures safety of women in workplaces and public spaces and also extends to private spaces such as homes.

Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) cited findings from a case in which a woman identified as Nasreen Bibi and her daughters were subjected to personal attacks and harassment and continue to do so.

The rights group said that laws such as the Protection against Harassment of Women Act 2010, which assures them safety in workplaces, private spaces and public spaces, such as streets, buses, markets and parks under section 509 of PPC and also against sexual harassment do not take into consideration the rights of women from minority communities.

Naveed Walter, president of HRFP said when the Christian, Hindu or other minority women are harassed, more factors like abductions, forced conversion and forced marriages have been seen.

The activist group has demanded amendments in the country's laws to add protection for minority women to the said sections of the Protection against Harassment of Women Act 2010.

According to a fact-finding report of the HRFP, Nasreen Bibi and her daughters were attacked on February 26 this year by some men at the main bazaar in Faizalabad. The men identified as Rashid Asif, Hamza Ramzan and Sharafat Liaqat targeted Bibi's daughter Saira and Bibi and her other daughters were attacked and their clothes torn when they rushed to Saira's defence.

As they raised an alarm and started crying, passersby started gathering around them and the perpetrators managed to flee. The miscreants, however, followed Bibi and her daughters to their home and attacked her son and injured other family members. The miscreants while fleeing also fired at the family wounding Saira in her arm.

Bibi subsequently filed an FIR at the local police station on February 28.

The case is currently listed for hearing is on April 8.

The HRFP said it is providing support to Nasreen, Saira and others who have shared the harassment and attacks on them.

Meanwhile, the Women's Action Forum (WAF) has raised the demand for effective protection for Pakistan's religious minorities, Dawn reported.

In a statement, the WAF said it was deeply saddened by the rise in target-killing incidents of members of Pakistan's minorities. The group offered condolences to the family and friends of Dayaal Singh and Kashif Masif, who they said were killed in targeted killing.

On Friday, unidentified gunmen killed a member of the minority community in the Pishtakhara region in Peshawar, Dawn reported citing police. Pishtakhara police station officials said that Kashif Masih, a resident of Benaras Abad locality of the Academy town was heading home from work when unidentified motorcyclists opened fire at him in a residential area.

Last month addressing a press conference in Lahore experts urged the country's government to stop inviting culprits involved in gender-based violence, as guest speakers in official meetings and seminars. (ANI)


Pakistan human rights Violence Harassment minority Communities woman identified Human Rights attacks and harassment Naveed Walter President
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