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Rights Watch

Rights Watch | July 29th 2021

A six-year-old girl Maham was killed after being raped in Korangi area of Karachi. Her body was recovered from a garbage dump. The eyewitnesses told the police that a rickshaw driver threw the body of the girl in a pile of garbage and fled.

Rights Watch | 19th July 2021

Baldia police have arrested one Umer Khalid for allegedly torturing his wife, a mother of four, to death on Thursday.

Rights Watch | July 16 2021

A seminary teacher in Toba Tek Singh’s Gojra tehsil has been arrested on charges of dousing petrol on a 10-year-old boy and setting him aflame. Qari Abdul Rehman had set aflame the child after failing in his attempt to sexually molest him.

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Journalism for Human Rights in Pakistan. Most popular stories you must read today!

ILM Conference participants term SNC threat to critical thought

Participants at the ILM Conference, organized by the Center for Social Justice, expressed concerns that the SNC will result in a generation unable to keep up pace with the rest of the world.

Reena Meghwar reunites with family but says still facing threats

Reena Meghwar, an alleged victim of forced conversion and marriage in Badin, has reunited with her family after three months but says she fears for her life.

Any war in Afghanistan is bound to spill over into KP, declares Manzoor Pashteen

Manzoor Pashteen declared that Pashtuns on both sides of the Durrand line are connected and any war imposed on Afghanistan is bound to spill over into KP

Nilofar Bakhtiar’s appointment as NCSW chair mired in controversy

The appointment of Nilofar Bakhtiar as chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) has been mired in controversy

UN urges Pakistan to expedite passage of anti-torture law

UN has praised the Senate’s approval of an anti-torture law, & urged the govt not to delay passage of the law first prototyped in 2016.

Pakistan’s judiciary influenced

Pakistan’s judiciary is influenced by the Govt & the military which has cast doubts on the competence, fairness, & reliability of the judicial system

Digital media advertising policy sent for approval

News websites must be locally-based and should be operational for over six months to receive government advertisements under the proposed policy

COVID-19 WATCH

COVID Watch | 31st March 2021

28 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses manufactured by India under the WHO's COVAX programme have yet to leave the country due to India’s new export restrictions owing to a surge in national cases. For more stories on the pandemic situation, keep reading.

COVID Watch | 30th March 2021

The NCOC revealed on Monday that 26 cities of Punjab, Peshawar and Azad Kashmir reported a case positivity rate of over 8%. Meanwhile 100 patients reportedly succumbed to the novel coronavirus disease. An overall positivity rate of 8.83% was recorded with 4,084 fresh infections. For more, keep reading.

In Focus

Journalism for Human Rights in Pakistan. Most popular stories you must read today!

A right to education, without discrimination

April 27th, 2021; By Suneel Malik; LAHORE; "The matter of religious inclusivity in the SNC has been presented in public as a religious issue in order to create confusion and generate controversy, despite the fact that in actuality it deals with the curricula, and its provisions relating to basic human rights protected under the Constitution," writes Suneel Malik.

“Cancel your protest or else,” Punjab police tells detained farmers’ leader

February 9th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz; LAHORE; Farmers’ Leader, Chaudhry Anwar was detained inside a police van in Lahore for 12 hrs. Senior police officials threatened him with severe consequences if he fails to call off a farmers’ protest scheduled for the end of this month.

ATC grants police custody of social activist Muhammad Ismail for 3 days

February 3rd, 2021; By Hamid Riaz; LAHORE; An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Peshawar granted to police, three-day physical custody of arrested social activist Professor Muhammad Ismail, a focal person of the Pakistan NGOs Forum. Yesterday the ATC had rejected Prof. Ismail’s pre-arrest bail plea in a “terror financing case” registered against him by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) following which he was handcuffed and taken into custody by the CTD from the court’s premise.  

Carrying on the legacy of the courageous Asma Jahangir

January 27th, 2021; By Ahmed Saeed; LAHORE; The Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell continues the legacy of upholding principles of human rights and the rule of law of its late founder Asma Jahangir as the nation marked the sixty-ninth birth anniversary of the human rights icon.

Allegedly abducted by the police over 2 months ago, the whereabouts of a Sanghar villager remains unknown

January 24th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz; LAHORE; Sanghar resident Abdul Sattar Awan has been missing for over 2 months. In a petition filed before the Sindh High Court his brother claims that Sattar was abducted by the police. Police has failed to produce Sattar despite High Court's orders.

Women lawmakers agree on increasing marriage age for girls in Punjab

January 14th, 2021; By Ahmed Saeed; LAHORE; Lawmakers from both sides of the Punjab Assembly have joined hands to end the menace of child marriages by increasing the age of marriage to 18 years for girls in Punjab and make CNICs a mandatory document to solemnize the marriage.

A “Judicial Crusade” against ‘ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES’

January 13th, 2021; Staff Reporter; LAHORE; Summons, fines & threat of arrests in 2021 has seen a series of actions taken by the higher courts against the govt's inability to recover victims of enforced disappearance.

IHC hears petition seeking ban on Netflix

January 6th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz; LAHORE; In a petition filed before the IHC petitioner, Tariq Asad asserts that if Netflix fails to remove the 'sacrilegious' movie the website should be banned in the country altogether- much like the Youtube Ban of 2012.

Life in the Time of COVID

The year has ended but COVID is still around. Will dealing with an uncertain future be the new normal in 2021? Voicepk.net brings to you the stories of five working women from across Pakistan, who have lost their livelihood due to the global pandemic, but not their strength.

Editorials

It’s Not the Dress, Its Your Mind

June 23: The Prime Minister has said too many times, that sexual assault is related to the clothes that a woman is wearing. what is the reason then, that so many children are raped everyday? Also it is deeply disturbing that the PM seems to be pushing an agenda of downright regression.

Protecting those Invisible Workers

While the battle for workers’ rights continues, even though it is late, the new law passed for the Islamabad territory is a step in the right direction.

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18th Amendment roll back an existential threat to country: Farhatullah Babar

July 3rd, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The roll back of the 18th Constitutional Amendment and Pakistan’s re-engagement with the Taliban militia are the two foremost existential threats to the country, Farhatullah Babar, Pakistan People Party Secretary General, said at a memorial reference for late senator Usman Kakar.

Kakar’s martyrdom raised people’s awareness against exploitation: Afrasiab Khattak

July 3rd, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The martyrdom of late senator Usman Kakar has raised awareness among the masses to continue their struggle against exploitation in the country, Afrasiab Khattak

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Feature Articles

PM’s new trouble shooter for Balochistan is the wrong choice: Baloch politicians

The Federal Government appears to be making moves to initiate talks with disgruntled Baloch nationalists to end a decades-long insurgency in the country’s largest province Balochistan. This development comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan alluded to talks during a visit to Gwadar on Monday, July 5.

Christian couple narrates how their 13-year-old daughter fell prey to forced conversion and marriage

A Christian couple in Gujranwala narrates the trauma of their 13-year-old daughter’s alleged forced conversion and marriage with a middle-aged married man already a father of five.

A right to education, without discrimination

April 27th, 2021; By Suneel Malik; LAHORE; "The matter of religious inclusivity in the SNC has been presented in public as a religious issue in order to create confusion and generate controversy, despite the fact that in actuality it deals with the curricula, and its provisions relating to basic human rights protected under the Constitution," writes Suneel Malik.

Workers' Right

Protecting those Invisible Workers

While the battle for workers’ rights continues, even though it is late, the new law passed for the Islamabad territory is a step in the right direction.

Bill bars domestic workers below 16 years of age in Islamabad

May 20th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; Minors below the age of 16 years have been barred from being employed as domestic helpers and household servants in the federal capital, according to Islamabad Capital Territory Domestic Worker Bill 2021 passed by the National Assembly on May 18.

Rs20,000 minimum wage based on 14% hike in inflation: official

May 6th, 2021; By Rehan Piracha; LAHORE; The Punjab government has announced raising minimum monthly wage to 20,000 but labour rights activists point out that lack of implementation mechanism has left out millions of workers being paid the bare minimum under the law.

Sysiphus Wept: Labouring away to Oblivion

May 1st, 2021; By Asra Haque, Hamid Riaz & Hassan Raza; LAHORE, CHUNGI AMAR SADHU; On International Workers Day, Voicepk.net brings you the stories of four women of the slums of the second largest city of Pakistan, Lahore.

Press Releases

Proposed amendment in Communal Properties’ Ordinance will complicate situation

Chairperson of PCMR, Peter Jacob, and its members Justice (R) Kalash Nath Kohli, and Fatima Atif, in a joint statement on behalf of PCMR, have emphatically rejected the idea of passing an amendment to the ordinance that gives absolute power to an entity or person.

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Legal Issues

Local govt’s restoration: LHC grants 40 more days to Punjab govt

The LHC on Wednesday granted the Punjab Govt 40 days to restore LGs.

Pakistan’s judiciary influenced

Pakistan’s judiciary is influenced by the Govt & the military which has cast doubts on the competence, fairness, & reliability of the judicial system

AGHS meeting: More women must be given space in bars

The Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell organized a lawyers’ meeting, to address the hurdles of the professional growth of women lawyers.

LG restoration: LHC rejects Punjab Govt stance

The LHC rejects Govt’s response on not restoring LG institutions despite SC judgment

Freedom Of Expression

International Stories

South Asian activists & doctors call for regional response to COVID-19

Activists and doctors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan joined the call for a regional effort to address COVID-19 challenges unique to South Asia.

SAHR hails BDI award for Dr Hameeda Hossain

July 30th, 2021; LAHORE; SAHR has congratulated former co-chairperson Dr Hameeda Hossain for receiving this year’s Bangladesh Development Initiative's (BDI) Lifetime Achievement Award

States must harmonize local rape laws with int’l human rights standards: UN Expert

June 29: The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Dubravka Šimonović says that states must synchronize local rape laws with int’l human rights standards. She suggests the definition of rape must always be based on the absence of the victim's consent.

SAHR demands inquiry into deaths of five Sri Lankan men at hands of police

June 14th, 2021; On behalf of South Asians for Human Rights; SRI LANKA; In a strongly-worded letter, international rights SAHR has called on the Sir Lankan Govt to carry out an impartial inquiry into the police for the extra-judicial killing & deaths by negligence of 5 men

SAHR condemns arrest of Bangledeshi journalist, demands immediate release

May 22, 2021; By Ahmed Saeed; LAHORE; South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) has expressed concerns over the arrest of senior Bangladeshi journalist, Rozina Islam, under the draconian Official Secrets Act. She has been reporting on corruption in the health sector for the past month

Political and civil society organizations mark Black Day for Palestine

May 21st, 2021; By VoicePk Staff; LAHORE; Political parties and civil society organisations held demonstrations in Lahore on Friday to mark Black Day for Palestine, condemning the Israeli aggression in Gaza and West Bank.

“We will not give up”: Palestinian human rights lawyer Raji Sourani

May 19th, 2021; By Munizae Jahangir; LAHORE/GAZA; "The Israelis cannot ask to be good victims. We cannot compromise on our blood. We will keep fighting for our dignity," says Gaza resident & rights lawyer Raji Sourani in an exclusive interview with Munizae Jahangir.

We will fight till our last breath: Palestinian students

May 18th, 2021; By Hamid Riaz, Ahmed Saeed & Hassan Raza; LAHORE; Along with the killing of innocent children, West Bank and Gaza now presents a picture of bombed houses, severed communication links and closed borders, say Palestinian students at a demonstration against the Israeli aggression in Lahore.