Rape

Equality Now Issues Urgent Alert After Brother of Teenager Allegedly Gang-Raped by Police Shot Dead Outside of a Court House in Pakistan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 December 2011

Contact: LONDON: Anber Raz, (44) (0) 20-7839-5456, ukinfo@equalitynow.org
NEW YORK: Karen Asare, (01) 212-586-0906, media@equalitynow.org

Organization calls on Government Officials to Protect 16-year-old Uzma Ayub and her Family and to Ensure Justice in her Case

Equality Now calls on the Government of Pakistan to Protect 16 year old Gang-rape Victim Uzma Ayub and Ensure Justice in her Case

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2011 Dec 15
Update Date: 
2013 Feb 11
Update: 

UPDATE 11 February 2013: Following the remand of the case from the High Court, on 31 January the lower court acquitted the defendants, including several police officers, in the gang rape case. This was not unexpected, given the High Court's determination that there was no conclusive evidence against the accused. We are concerned for the safety of Uzma and her family after this ruling as they will no longer have state protection and they have already been targeted for bringing the case.  We are strategizing with partners about ways to protect her.


UPDATE 22 June 2012: On 19 June, the Peshawar High Court in Pakistan dismissed its December 2011 inquiry into this case. The court found that the DNA test results of Uzma’s baby did not match the men implicated in the gang-rape. In addition, it ordered Uzma to undergo multiple lie detector tests and found the results inconclusive. On 4 June, Equality Now wrote to the court expressing great concern about subjecting a rape victim to lie-detector testing which is psychologically damaging and, given the inconclusive nature of the results, highly prejudicial.

Uzma's gang-rape case and her brother's murder case are still pending at the lower court and Equality Now and our partners are strategizing on next steps.


UPDATE 29 February 2012: Pressure from human rights groups and media prompted the Pakistani government to take action in the case of Uzma Ayub. Following the Peshawar High Court's call for thorough inquiries and strict action against all perpetrators and the police officers who failed to take action in both the rape and murder cases in December 2011, 14 people have been arrested in the rape case and 29 police officers have been suspended. The alleged murderer of Uzma's brother is still at large but 15 of his alleged co-conspirators have been arrested. For Uzma’s safety, the government has relocated her and her mother to Peshawar. On 19 January, Uzma gave birth to a baby girl. DNA samples have been taken from the baby and the alleged rapists and are being tested in order to identify the child's father. The next hearing in the rape case will be held after the results of the paternity test have been released.

Please join us as we continue to call upon the Pakistani government to ensure that Uzma’s case is fully and properly investigated and that all the perpetrators involved, including those who may have obstructed justice, are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Similarly, continue to call on them to ensure that all those responsible for the murder of Uzma’s brother Alamzeb are swiftly and properly brought to justice and prosecuted.


Uzma and child
Uzma and child
What You Can Do: 

Please write urgently to the officials below calling on them to ensure Uzma and her family’s immediate safety. Ask them to make certain that her case is fully and properly investigated and that all the perpetrators involved, including those who may have obstructed justice, are prosecuted to the full extent of the law, in accordance with Pakistan’s own Constitution and international obligations. Similarly call on them to ensure that all those responsible for the murder of Uzma’s brother Alamzeb are swiftly and properly brought to justice and prosecuted. Ask that local organisations under threat are protected and any threats against them investigated and appropriately prosecuted. Request guarantees that the authorities will send clear messages that such criminal actions, particularly by those who should be upholding the law, will not be tolerated.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Mr. Amir Haider Hoti
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Chief Minister House
Fort Road,
Peshawar Cantt
Pakistan
Tel: +92-91-9213574, +92-91- 9211719
Fax: +92-91-9210718, +92-91-9210743
Email: pskhyberpakhtoonkhwa@yahoo.com

Barrister Arshad Abdullah
Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs
Government of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa
Minister Block Opposite to MPA Hostel
Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa
Tel: +92-91-9210353
Fax: +92-91-9211130
 
Mr. Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani
Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The Prime Minister’s Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92 51 920 6111
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk

Mr. Moula Bakhsh Chandio
Minister for Law, Justice
and Parliamentary Affairs
Ministry of Law, Justice
and Parliamentary Affairs
Islamabad, Pakistan
E-Mail: minister@molaw.gov.pk

Letters: 

Dear _____ :

I write to you with deep concern regarding the case of gang-rape victim Uzma Ayub from Karak in the Khyber Pakhtunkha (KP) province.

I was concerned to hear about the horrific circumstances concerning 16 year old Uzma’s case and that she was held captive for almost a year during which she was repeatedly gang raped by a number of individuals including police officers resulting in a pregnancy. I was deeply dismayed to hear that Uzma and her family having already suffered such tragedy, have been further traumatized by the killing of Uzma’s brother Alamzeb Marwat outside the Karak District court allegedly by relatives of some of the police perpetrators.

Despite intense pressure and death threats, Uzma and her family are fighting for justice. This case has highlighted a shocking level of police corruption in the area and I urge you to please address this situation urgently. I respectfully urge you to ensure that Uzma’s case is fully and properly investigated and that all the perpetrators involved, including those who may have obstructed justice, are prosecuted to the full extent of the law, in accordance with Pakistan’s own Constitution, which states that “all citizens are equal before law and are entitled for equal protection of law” and that “there shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone,” along-side Pakistan’s international human rights obligations to ensure justice for all. I also ask that you ensure all those responsible for the murder of Uzma’s brother Alamzeb are swiftly and properly brought to justice and prosecuted. 

It is also my understanding that local NGOs who have been supporting Uzma in her fight for justice have been threatened. I urge you to ensure that local organisations are protected and any threats against them investigated and appropriately prosecuted. 

By prosecuting the perpetrators the government of KP will send a clear message that such criminal actions, particularly by those who should be upholding the law, will not be tolerated.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely

Sidra Humayun

Confronting Sexual Violence Head On in Pakistan
Sidra Humayun

1. Can you describe the hurdles that female victims of sexual violence typically face in seeking justice and help in Pakistan?

Zambia: Rampant rape of schoolgirls by their teachers—victory in R.M.’s civil case

Action Number: 
32.2
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2009 Dec 1
What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Director of Public Prosecutions calling for the prosecution of Mr. Hakasenke for the rape of R.M. Ask him to ensure that girls have full recourse to the law if they are raped and that perpetrators are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Remind him of the government’s obligations to protect young girls under Zambia’s own Constitution, the Protocol, and other human rights instruments to which Zambia is a party. Please write to the police Victim Support Unit asking them to expedite Mr. Hakasenke’s arrest. Please also write to the new Minister of Education, asking her to ensure that guidelines and mechanisms are put in place to prevent and better address sexual violence against girls in schools, including by school officials, and that the court-ordered compensation is paid to R.M. as soon as possible. Urge the Minister to cooperate with police to facilitate the arrest of Mr. Hakasenke and, at a minimum, to ensure that he is no longer on the government payroll.

Letters should be addressed to:.

Mr. Chalwe Mchenga
Director of Public Prosecutions
P.O. Box 50106
Lusaka
Republic of Zambia
Tel: +260 211 251 367
Fax: +260 211 257 636

Sample letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions

Mr. Tresford Kasale
Director
Victim Support Unit
Zambia Police Headquarters
Independence Avenue
P.O. Box 50103, Ridgewa
Lusaka 10101
Republic of Zambia
Tel: +260 211 254 534 / 253 543
Fax: +260 211 253 543

Sample letter to the Director of the Victim Support Unit

Hon. Dora Siliya
Minister of Education
P.O. Box 50093
Lusaka
Republic of Zambia
Tel: +260 211 250 558
Fax: +260 211 253 502
dsiliya@moe.gov.zm

Sample letter to the Minister of Education

Women's Action 32.1: February 2009

 

Zambia: Rampant Rape of Schoolgirls by Their Teachers

Action Number: 
32.1
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2009 Feb 1

 

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Director of Public Prosecutions listed below calling for criminal charges to be lodged against Edson Hakasenke for the rape of R.M. Please write to the Attorney-General and ask him to withdraw the notice of appeal against the decision of the High Court to hold the government vicariously liable for the conduct of Mr. Hakasenke. Send a copy of both your letters to the Minister of Justice. Remind them of the government’s obligations to protect young girls under Zambia’s own Constitution, the Protocol, and other human rights instruments to which Zambia is a party. Request the Minister of Education to take serious note of Judge Musonda’s call to put effective mechanisms in place to address sexual violence against girls within the school system, in order to ensure that in future girls are properly protected against rape by school officials and that they know where to turn if they have been raped. Ask all officials to ensure that girls have full recourse to the law if they are raped and that perpetrators are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Letters should be addressed to:

Hon. Mumba Malila
Attorney-General
P.O. Box 50106
Lusaka
Republic of Zambia
Tel: +260 211 250 438
Fax: +260 211 253 695

Mr. Chalwe Mchenga
Director of Public Prosecutions
P.O. Box 50106
Lusaka
Republic of Zambia
Tel: +260 211 251 367
Fax: +260 211 257 636

The Honorable Dora Siliya
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education Headquarters
P.O. Box 50093
Lusaka
Republic of Zambia
Tel: +260 211 250 558
Fax: +260 211 253 502

Hon. George Kunda S.C.
Minister of Justice & Legal Affairs
P.O. Box 50106
Lusaka
Republic of Zambia
Tel: +260 211 251 588/253 509
Fax: +260 211 253 452

Letters: 
Sample Letter to Attorney General Malila

Hon. Mumba Malila
Attorney-General
P.O. Box 50106
Lusaka, Republic of Zambia
Fax: +260 211 253 695

Dear Attorney-General Malila,

I am writing in regard to the important decision of Judge Phillip Musonda of the High Court of Lusaka of 30 June 2008 in the case of R.M., a 13 year-old schoolgirl, against her teacher and rapist Edward Hakasenke, Woodlands ‘A’ Basic School where R.M. was a student, the Ministry of Education and the Attorney General.

I urge you to withdraw your notice of appeal in this case to demonstrate the government’s commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls in accordance with Zambia’s own Constitution and the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women, as well as other human rights instruments to which Zambia is a party. I would also urge you to ensure that girls have full recourse to the law if they are raped and that perpetrators are always prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

 

CC: Hon. George Kunda S.C.
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
P.O. Box 50106, Lusaka, Republic of Zambia
Fax: +260 211 253 452
 

 

Sample letter to Mr. Mchenga

Mr. Chalwe Mchenga
Director of Public Prosecutions
P.O. Box 50106
Lusaka, Republic of Zambia
Fax: +260 211 257 636

Dear Mr. Mchenga,

I am writing in regard to the important decision of Judge Phillip Musonda of the High Court of Lusaka of 30 June 2008 in the case of R.M., a 13 year-old schoolgirl, against her teacher and rapist Edward Hakasenke, Woodlands ‘A’ Basic School where R.M. was a student, the Ministry of Education and the Attorney General.

In his decision, Judge Musonda referred the matter to you for possible prosecution. Without full protection of the law, girls in school and elsewhere remain at risk of rape and sexual assault and I urge you to take immediate action to hold Mr. Hakasenke responsible for the rape of R.M. to the full extent of Zambian law. I would also urge you to ensure that girls generally have full recourse to the law if they are raped and that perpetrators are always prosecuted to the full extent of the law so that all citizens, including children, benefit from the protections of Zambia’s Constitution, the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women, and all other human rights instruments to which Zambia is a party.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

 

CC: Hon. George Kunda S.C.
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
P.O. Box 50106, Lusaka, Republic of Zambia
Fax: +260 211 253 452
 

Sample letter to Minister Siliya

The Honorable Dora Siliya
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education Headquarters
P.O. Box 50093
Lusaka, Republic of Zambia
Fax: +260 211 253 502

Dear Minister Siliya,

I am writing in regard to the important decision of Judge Phillip Musonda of the High Court of Lusaka of 30 June 2008 in the case of R.M., a 13 year-old schoolgirl, against her teacher and rapist Edward Hakasenke, Woodlands ‘A’ Basic School where R.M. was a student, the Ministry of Education and the Attorney General. I urge you to act on Judge Musonda’s strong recommendation that the Ministry of Education put effective mechanisms in place to address sexual violence against girls within the school system, in order to ensure that in future girls are properly protected against rape by school officials and that they know where to turn to if they have been raped.

I would also urge you to work with your colleagues in government to ensure that schoolgirls have full recourse to the law if they are raped and that perpetrators are always prosecuted to the full extent of the law so that all citizens, including children, benefit from the protections of the Zambian Constitution and the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa, as well as other international instruments to which Zambia is a party.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

 

CC: Hon. George Kunda S.C.
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
P.O. Box 50106, Lusaka, Republic of Zambia
Fax: +260 211 253 452
 

Pakistan: The Hudood Ordinances--Denial of Justice for Rape: The Case of Dr. Shazia

Action Number: 
26.1
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2005 Aug 1

 

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Pakistani officials listed below. Ask them to take immediate steps to ensure the repeal or amendment of the Hudood Ordinances to remove the discrimination against women and ensure that women who have been raped receive equal protection under the law in accordance with Pakistan’s own Constitution and its obligations under CEDAW. Urge them to ensure that Dr. Shazia’s case is immediately and fully investigated and that those responsible for her rape, as well as those who threatened Dr. Shazia with death or other harm, are brought to justice. Please also write to the Canadian authorities to ask that Dr. Shazia, Khalid and her adopted son be allowed to live and work in Canada where they have relatives and are hoping to resettle. Letters should be addressed to:

General Pervez Musharraf
President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Aiwan-E-Sadr
Islamabad, PAKISTAN
Fax: +92-51-922-1422
To e-mail President Musharraf, please go to: http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk/WTPresidentMessage.aspx

Mr. Muhammad Wasi Zafar
Minister of Law, Justice & Human Rights
S-Block, Pak Secretariat
Islamabad, PAKISTAN
Fax: +92-51-920-2628
E-mail: minister@molaw.gov.pk

The Honorable Diane Finley, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Jean-Edmonds South Tower, 21st Floor
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1, CANADA
Fax: +1-613-957-2688
E-mail: Minister@cic.gc.ca

Ethiopia: Abduction and Rape--Law Reform and the Case of Woineshet Zebene Negash

Action Number: 
22.4
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2005 Jun 1
Update: 

January 2008 update on the case of Woineshet Zebene Negash:

The Cassation Bench of the Federal Supreme Court in December 2005 refused to hear Woineshet’s appeal on the basis it believed no error of law had been committed by the lower courts. All domestic legal recourse is now closed to Woineshet.  Anecdotal information suggests abductions and rapes ceased when the outcome of Woineshet’s case was uncertain, but resumed when it was clear the perpetrators would go unpunished. Woineshet’s rapist and abductors are still at large and unconfirmed reports suggest the rapist abducted another girl, aged 14, whom he married and now has a baby. Equality Now, in conjunction with the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), has submitted a communication to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights claiming violation of Woineshet’s rights under the African Charter. Please continue to write to the authorities below to ensure implementation of the law against abduction and rape and investigation into the conduct of Prosecutor Tolcha.

On Woineshet Zebene Negash 9 May 2005 the new Ethiopian Penal Code finally came into effect, which removed the marital exemption for abduction and rape. Both abduction and rape are criminal offences under Ethiopian law, but Articles 558 and 599 of the 1957 Ethiopian Penal Code had provided that in the event of subsequent marriage to his victim, the perpetrator was exempt from criminal responsibility for these crimes.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Minster of Justice, commending the Ethiopian authorities for having amended the Penal Code so that abductors and rapists who marry their victims are no longer exempt from punishment. Ask him to ensure that the law against abduction and rape is properly enforced and applied, including through the promotion of appropriate training for law enforcement authorities. Let him know of your concerns regarding Woineshet’s case. Request that his office closely monitor the appeal hearing scheduled for 4 July 2005 and any subsequent appeal proceedings in the case. Please write also to Mr. Dewano Kedir, Head of the Justice Beureau of the Oromia Region. Thank him for initiating an investigation into the conduct of Prosecutor Tolcha and urge him to impose appropriate disciplinary sanctions for misconduct in the handling of this case. Urge him also to undertake training for officials in his office, particularly on the law of rape. Letters should be addressed to:

The Honorable Harka Haroye
Minister of Justice
P.O. Box 1370
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-51 77 75

Mr. Dewano Kedir
Head, Justice Bureau of the Oromia Region
P.O. Box 9156
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-65 14 47

Ethiopia: Abduction and Rape--Law Reform and the Case of Woineshet Zebene Negash

Action Number: 
22.3
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2004 Nov 1

Woineshet Zebene NegashIn March 2002, Equality Now launched its campaign against abduction and rape in Ethiopia, highlighting the case of Woineshet Zebene Negash, who at the age of 13 was abducted and raped by Aberew Jemma Negussie in the village where she lived with her mother and grandparents in the south-eastern part of Ethiopia. Two days later she was rescued, and Aberew Jemma Negussie was arrested.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Oromia regional authorities listed below. Urge them to ensure that a further appeal will be heard in Woineshet’s case and that the rule of law is appropriately applied in any such appeal. Express concern over the decision of the High Court of the Arsi Zone, which does not appear to have taken into consideration the evidence of abduction, rape and attempted forced marriage of Woineshet, and express concern over reports that indicate that the court wrongly perceived rape to be a crime against virginity. Remind the officials of the government’s obligation under the Constitution and international law to guarantee the right to equality under the law and equal protection of the law.

Please also write to the Minster of Justice, commending the Ethiopian authorities for having amended the Penal Code so that abductors and rapists who marry their victims are no longer exempted from punishment. Ask him to ensure that the law is translated and passed to the President for signature as soon as possible so that these new provisions take effect. Let him know of your concerns regarding Woineshet’s case and ask him to investigate the conduct of Judge Ube and Prosecutor Tolcha in the appeal and to take appropriate measures if they are found to have acted improperly. Request that his office monitors the appeal hearing scheduled for 5 January 2005 and all subsequent appeal proceedings in the case. Also ask him to promote appropriate training for law enforcement authorities so that the law is properly applied in Ethiopia.

Letters should be addressed to:

Mr. Dewano Kedir
Head, Justice Bureau of the Oromia Region
P.O. Box 9156
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-65 14 47

Mr. Tesale Abera
President of the Supreme Court of the Oromia Region
P.O. Box 26110
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-23 44 37

The Honorable Harka Haroye
Minister of Justice
P.O. Box 1370
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-51 77 75

Please send copies of your letters to the Oromia officials above to:

Mr. Junedi Sado
President of the Oromia Region
P.O. Box 101769
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-51 36 42

Ethiopia: Official License for Abduction and Rape

Action Number: 
22.2
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2004 Feb 1

Woineshet Zebene NegashOn July 22, 2003, Aberew Jemma Negussie was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment without parole for the abduction and rape of Woineshet Zebene Negash. His four accomplices were each sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment without parole.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Ethiopian authorities listed below. Commend the Minister of Justice for the action taken to ensure justice in the case of Aberew Jemma Negussie and urge him to actively support the abolition of the legal provisions in Articles 558 and 599 of the Ethiopian Penal Code that exempt perpetrators of abduction and rape from criminal responsibility upon marriage. Urge the Minister to ensure that abduction and rape are treated as serious criminal offences and that, when prosecuting and sentencing perpetrators, the courts send a strong message that these crimes will not be tolerated. Write to the Chair of the Legal and Administrative Affairs Standing Committee of Parliament and urge him to take immediate steps to stop the practice of bride abduction in Ethiopia by rescinding Articles 558 and 599. Remind these officials of the government’s obligation under the Constitution and international law to protect and promote the right to equality and equal protection of the law. Letters should be addressed to:

The Honorable Harka Haroye
Minister of Justice
PO Box 1370
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-51-77-75

The Honorable Asmelash
Woldeselassie, Chair
Legal and Administrative Affairs Standing Committee
PO Box 80001
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251-1-55-09-00

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