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) 

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