Thursday, December 9, 2010

Letter to HRCP by Sadia Abbas

A copy of the letter sent to Dr. Mehdi Hasan. It was handwritten. (she also had the same problem as mine -- the letter was to be formulated within short time before load-shedding)

Dr. Mehdi Hasan,
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Subject: Violation of Human Rights on August 15, 2010

Dear Dr. Mehdi Hasan,

I deem the occasion of International Human Rights Day the most pertinent to highlight, once again, the issue of brutal lynching of Hafiz Mughees But, and Muneeb Butt of Sialkot.

August 15, 2010 has left a permanent scar on the psyche of our nation. This day should be remembered as ‘Black Day’ in the history of human rights world over. People that have been rendered disconsolate over the years, have now gone beyond all extremes. They fail to see that Vigilante Justice is a clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 9, 10 and 11, and Article 5 in this particular case. The mob, yet fails to concede that vigilante justice is a crime itself, and crime if condoned, begets crime. A month after the lynching of Mughees and Muneeb, a man was stoned to death in Gujrat merely for ‘over-speeding’. A few days later, media showed another video clip of a dead body being dragged on the roads of Dera Ghazi Khan, before it was burnt to ashes. Apparently, mob violence has already taken its roots in Pakistan!! If the killers of Mughees and Muneeb go unpunished, there is a lot more to come. Can we take that??

The trial is being conducted in Anti Terrorist Court, Gujranwala; a court which is well reputed for its impartiality and pronouncement of harsh sentences. Now and then, the antics of the defendant lawyers reflect their sinister motive to prolong the case. Thankfully, the request for transferring the case to lower court has been rejected, yet the absence of the defendant on the dates of hearing has unnecessarily delayed the proceedings several times. Public prosecutors in high court have refused to follow the case, owing this decision to lack of cooperation by civil departments.

Dr. Mehdi, my fears have multiplied thousand folds. I have always enjoyed games of mind; I hear a word and think of one. The word ‘Sialkot’ would make my mind echo a list of names. Allama Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Shoaib Malik to begin with, continuing with those of my friends’ living there. Now its just two- Mughees and Muneeb. No more names, yet a series of words; mob, blood, violence, savagery, butchery, brutality, lynching, atrocity.. rest is all forgotten. Being a peace loving person, I cannot imagine my people getting accustomed to taking innocent lives on matters as trivial as a cricket match. Such lawbreakers must be given exemplary punishment so that mob violence does not become a part of our culture.

I believe that Human Rights Commission of Pakistan can play a crucial role in collaboration with media to create awareness amongst masses regarding abuse and violation of human rights and how it deteriorates a society. I request you, Sir, to take this incident into account and offer your support to the bereaved family. We need to let them know that Mughees and Muneeb are not forgotten, and will never be forgotten. It is our moral responsibility to stand up for their support and fight for justice till it is served.

Yours respectfully,
Sadia Abbas
(Signature & Location) 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My hastily writtten letter to HRCP

When only one day left, and little time left in scheduled load-shedding, I could come up with only something as abrupt as this ! This was written in an extreme rush , so I couldn't polish it, or add references. More irony is that hand written letters are given more weight, so I had to write it down as well :(. While writing it down, I made a few amendments, which I cannot make here. Khair, the letter begins below: -

Dr. Mehdi Hasan
Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Aiwan-I-Jamhoor, 107-Tipu Block New Garden Town, Lahore.

Dear Mehdi Sahab

On International Human Rights day, I am writing to you hoping my desperate effort could make a difference. .

Sir, even an ordinary layman has a foreboding now that Pakistan is decending into lawlessness at such a brisk pace -- and people engaging in severe human rights abuses such brazenly and boldly -- that soon this country would simply become inhospitable to civilized humans!

Though many other incidents, but I would like to highlight the most shocking, brutal and unparalleled case -- the broad daylight lynching of Mughees and Muneeb in Sialkot (15th Aug 2010). The boys were falsely, and deliberately so, marked as robbers by their playground foes and then brutally murdered by an organized lynch mob. Videos of this barbarism were aired all over media channels, and still widely available on youtube.

The culprits (including 8 policemen) are arrested, and the trial is going on. However, it is extremely worrying to notice that it is now 4 months siince this tragedy happened but still the mother of tMughees and Muneeb await justice ! Why so ? Because all possible delay tactics are deployed by the aggressors. And since police is also an accomplice, there is little hope that justice would ever be served ! Just last week, the Public Prosecutors refused to follow this case in high court complaining the civil departments are not cooperating with them. This is very depressing !

Sir, my even more senister feeling is that the killing of these two brothers is not a mere INCIDENT; this is begining of a TREND ! This could become a way to settle one's account with one's foe - with a rival in inheritence, cricket, love affairs, setlie an issue after traffic accident, and like... I cannot explain to you how harrassed I am when my younger brother, who happens to be of Mughees's age, goes to college driving his car. And ofcourse, I would never ever NEVER EVER allow him to go out and play with other boys !

BUT is this a solution ?? Should we lock ourselves in homes to prevent mishapes ?? Or shoudl we try to leave this country asap ??? I think NO, and suggest that the only solution is rule of law and STRICT and ONTIME punishment to those who dare to violate human rights, and to those who supervise it, and to those who protect them post their crime.

I therefore urge and appeal Human Rights Commisiion of Pakistan to take serious notice of Sialkot lynching, and take all necessary steps possible capacity to ensure swift justice to the family of Mughees and Muneeb !

Thanking you, hopes, and best regards
Ali Abbas Sultan
(Signature, and location).