Rights Watch (2nd April 2020)

Rights Watch

Maid “Murdered” by Employers

Kharian Cantonment police booked a doctor and two others for the alleged murder of a domestic servant, Ramsha, who had been in their employ at I J Colony, Gujrat. The deceased’s father, Ghulam Yasin, claimed he had been contacted by her employers, Dr. Ali Muqaddas and Jahanzaib Afzal, on March 27 to inform her of her death due to coronavirus. He said the accused prevented the family from approaching the girls’ body under the pretense of her being infected with the virus.

Upon order of the Regional Police Officer, Kharian Cantonment lodged an FIR against the accused of qatl-i-amd (PPC section 302). The deceased was buried in her home village in Sargodha – the investigation is still ongoing.

Domestic Abuse on the Rise

Keeping people indoors via a state-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has led to a dramatic increase in instances of domestic abuse and violence in Pakistan. Mental health professionals conducting therapy for their patients online are noting the phenomenon among their patients. Patients are forced to leave their sessions for fear of being seen or heard talking about their abuses and concerns while their abusers are now always nearby.

Sanitary Workers Unprotected

Nearly 1,200 sanitary workers hired to clear 700 tonnes of waste produced in Islamabad every day are facing severe health risks amidst the spread of the coronavirus contagion. Workers claim they do not have any personal protective equipment (PPEs) gloves and masks, and neither are they provided with sanitizers and disinfectants to protect them from possible contact with the disease as they handle the waste.