Rights Watch | 1st December 2020

Anti-harassment posters put up in BRT buses, terminals to inculcate safe spaces for women and raise public awareness.

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Anti-harassment posters decorate BRT buses

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in collaboration with the office of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ombudsperson for Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace on Monday, November 30, outfitted the service’s vehicles with anti-harassment posters as part of an initiative to facilitate a safe environment for female commuters as well as to raise awareness of harassment laws amongst the general public.

The posters display Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code which states that “whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished.”

As part of the initiative, educational video messages in Urdu and Pashto will also be played in the buses and at BRT terminals. Furthermore, male passengers were discouraged from occupying seats designated for women.

Minor girl allegedly killed, raped by father

Khairpur police have launched an investigation into the mysterious death of 13-year-old Kamul Gopang who, according to her mother Sahab Khatoon, was allegedly subjected to repeated sexual assault by her father Koral Gopang in Alam Khan Gopal village. Reportedly, Koral had strangled his daughter to death when Sahab had discovered that he had raped the teen and alerted others to the assault. However, initial reports claim that both parents had initially termed their daughter’s death a suicide, and refused an autopsy. Khairpur police were able to gain custody of the deceased and shifted the body to a hospital for the postmortem examination to determine the cause of death, as well as whether or not she had been molested.

Afghan minors shifted from prison to children’s home

The Sindh government on Saturday, November 28, committed 16 Afghan children previously imprisoned in Sukkur Jail to a children’s remand home in Karachi, while talks are underway with the Afghan consul general for the minors’ repatriation to their home country. The children were between the ages of six and 14, and five adults were booked under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act nearly by the Kashmore-Khandkot police two weeks ago for illegally crossing the border into Pakistan. On November 21, a judicial magistrate had sent the illegal immigrants to judicial custody.

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