Rights Watch | September 2nd 2020


Judge’s DNA not a match in a rape case

DNA sample submitted by a former Sehwan civil judge and judicial magistrate implicated in a rape case did not match samples received from the victim.

The judge was accused of raping a woman who had arrived to record her statement on contracting the marriage of her free will within his court chambers on January 13. According to reports, the woman was accompanied by two female constables in court, however, the judge had ordered police and court staff to leave and proceeded to keep the woman within the courtroom for around 45 minutes. The woman then emerged crying, claiming the judge had raped her.

The Sindh High Court had dismissed the judge on grounds of “misconduct” following the incident. A case was registered against him on the state’s behalf under sections 376 (punishment for rape) and 506 (punishment for criminal intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, however, the woman had later retracted her statement.

The victim later rescinded her allegations, however the Sindh High Court issued orders for a DNA test. The judge had initially opposed to submitting a sample but later complied. Although reports confirmed that his sample did not match the DNA received from the victim, a match was confirmed with a sample submitted by the woman’s husband.

100 clerics arrested for hate speech

Punjab police and other law enforcement agencies have apprehended over a hundred clerics belonging to different sects for alleged hate speech and derogatory remarks against the family and companions of the Prophet (PBUH) in religious congregations as well as on social media. Over 200 individuals were detained for violations of the Maintenance of Public Order Act, while nearly 900 clerics of different sects including Shia Zakireen were barred from conducting speeches and congregations for 2 months prior to Muharram.

A warrant for blasphemy accused’s murder

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) issued an arrest warrant for a suspect believed to be involved in the murder of under-trial blasphemy-accused Tahir Ahmad Naseem, a US national formerly belonging to the Ahmadi sect in a Peshawar courtroom on July 29. Tahir was gunned down by a teenager who had accused the deceased of committing blasphemy – the assailant had been promptly arrested on the site, however, investigations are underway for others believed to have had a hand orchestrating the murder. Recently, the teen’s counsel was detained for allegedly supplying the murder weapon to his client.

The ATC issued the warrant on request of an investigative team for the arrest of one Wasiullah, who is avoiding arrest, under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrCP) section 204 – further proceedings under section 87 of the CrCP may be conducted if the suspect cannot be arrested.