Amnesty report raps Pak over poor HR record over past one year

May 29th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 29 (ANI): In its annual report the Amnesty International has castigated Pakistan for its poor human rights record over the past one year, involving honour killings, tribal justice and the random killing of civilians by militants and vigilantes.

Taking a dig on the suppression of judiciary in the country, it said that lawyers and journalists were arbitrarily detained in the wake of ongoing stir over restoration of deposed Supreme Court judiciary.

Thousands of lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and political workers were arbitrarily detained. The independence of the judiciary was curbed. Some victims of enforced disappearance re-appeared but hundreds remained missing. Honour killings and resort to jirgas continued. Violence against women continued with impunity. Some 310 people were sentenced to death and at least 135 executed. Members of pro-Taliban and other religious groups took hostages, unlawfully killed civilians, and committed acts of violence against women and girls, the Daily Times quoted the Amnesty report as saying.

It said that the confrontation between the government and the judiciary dominated the political process during the period under review.

It added that during the period of emergency rule, fundamental rights were suspended and hundreds were detained, including the chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion Asma Jehangir and UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders Hina Jilani.

It pointed out that the fate and whereabouts of hundreds of people remained unclear during the year and that those missing were at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

The annual report also took a serious note of Pakistani TV channels being prohibited from broadcasting news unless they signed a Code of Conduct restricting criticism of the government. Children’s and women’s rights were routinely ignored, the Hudood Ordinances continued to sanction flogging and amputation, but no such punishments were carried out in 2007, it said further. (ANI)

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