Rights Watch | 22nd July 2020

Rights Watch

Remand for Khairpur rapist extended

An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday, July 21 extended police custody for Sarang Shar, a retired teacher accused of raping his minor students and then filming the assaults, by another seven days. During the hearing, Khairpur SSP Captain Ameer Saud Magsi claimed that the police has successfully apprehended those believed to have facilitated Shar’s crimes and that the investigation is ongoing.

Scheduled-castes unite against oppression

Representatives from 40 scheduled-caste Hindu groups form the Pakistan Scheduled Caste Alliance, a coalition to protect the lower castes from alleged abuses of power by upper-caste Hindus.

Upper-caste Hindus makeup only 5% of the Hindu population in Pakistan and are accused by the Alliance of commandeering the vast majority of resources allocated to the Hindu community. Furthermore, they allege that Sindhi upper-caste Hindus were colluding with the Sindh government to appropriate resources meant for the whole Hindu community.

The Pakistan Scheduled Caste Alliance plans to organize in several districts across Sindh in the near future to fight the oppression of the upper-caste minority in both society and politics.

Alleged same-sex couple in hiding

A couple accused of being in a same-sex marriage (outlawed in Pakistan) have disappeared a day before they were expected to appear in court on Tuesday, July 21, for a hearing on allegations that Ali, now Aasma Akash, had undergone a sex-change operation and now identifies as a man.

Police officials confirm the couple is no longer in communication with them. The couple’s lawyer claims that they are not avoiding court but have actually been forced to go into hiding due to threats made against them.