Rights Watch | 15th October 2020


Faisalabad authorities crack down on child labor

District administration on Tuesday, October 13, launched a three-day crackdown in Faisalabad against child labor. Welfare Labor Director Malik Munawar Awan said that several teams would be visiting all brick-kilns, factories, mills, workshops and markets in the district, and strict legal action will be taken against employers found to be exploiting children for labour, including detention.

Tribal lawyers demand representation in bar council

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday, October 14, issued directives to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council and the Pakistan Bar Council to submit their replies regarding a petition seeking representation of lawyers from the merged districts in the KP Bar Council.

The petition, filed through advocate Noor Alam Khan, asserted that after their merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa via the 25th Amendment, the former tribal areas have been given constitutional status. However, lawyers from these districts were still deprived of representation in the bar councils and associations. The petitioner requested that equal representation be given to the lawyers’ fraternity of tribal districts in these representative bodies.

Man attempts suicide via immolation over police harassment

One Matih-ur-Rehman, a tanker driver from Waziristan, suffered critical burns in an attempt to self-immolate after being tortured by police stationed at a checkpoint at Nawabshah on Wednesday, October 14.

According to the victim’s statement, he was stopped at the Sakrand checkpost by a team of excise and taxation police on his way from Karachi to Punjab. The personnel subjected him to physical torture and humiliation, as well as stripping him of Rs. 18,000 in cash. Distressed, Matih-ur-Rehman doused himself in petrol and set himself alight, but was saved by passersby.

He was shifted to Sakrand hospital in critical condition, and then later to Hyderabad due to a lack of burn units at the hospital. The excise police team reportedly vanished from the checkpost where the incident occurred. Shaheed Benazirabad Excise and Taxation representatives have stated that an inquiry will be launched into the incident, and that strict action will be taken against anyone found guilty.

Three indicted for blasphemy accused’s murder

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday, 14, charged three men (including one juvenile) for the murder of blasphemy accused Tahir Ahmad Naseem within the Peshawar Judicial Complex on July 29, 2020.

Junior lawyer Tufail Zia and cleric Wasiullah pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prime accused was indicted on three counts: intentional murder of under-trial prisoner, and possession of arms.

Zia was charged for abetting the prime accused by providing him with the pistol with which the teenager had carried out the murder, while Wasiullah was charged with providing the pistol to Zia. Wasiullah was taken into custody by the police on September 15.

A judicial magistrate on September 18 declared the three accused had planned the murder in Zia’s office – Wasiullah insisted that the pistol was commissioned from a gunsmith, while Zia was tasked with taking it inside the Judicial Complex. Furthermore, Zia handed over to weapon to teenager in a washroom.