21 February 2023
Women’s Action Forum (WAF) on Tuesday strongly condemned the act of extra-judicial execution of the two identified confirmed rapists of Islamabad’s F-9 Fatima Jinnah Park, thereby denying the survivor her right to justice.
In a statement, WAF said it continued to stand in support and solidarity with the brave survivor, who, contrary to the norm of non-reporting of rape crimes, courageously came forward to file an FIR at the police station, and subsequently also conclusively identified both her rapists when the police arrested them, commending her extraordinary bravery.
WAF termed the Islamabad police version’s of the encounter unbelievable and outrageous, adding that two activists Imaan Mazari Hazir, the rape survivor’s lawyer, and Dr. Farzana Bari, a member of the ICT/LEAs Special Investigation Team (SIT), have raised questions over extra-judicial killing in detail at a press conference February 17. It was widely reported across the national print, electronic and social media while the head of the Islamabad police has not denied, refuted, rebutted or clarified any of the facts exposed at the press conference, WAF said.
“We are convinced that the alleged “police encounter” during which the two men (both serial rapists) are said to have been killed, is totally fake and false. We also believe that there is a concerted attempt to cover up the real facts of this case, for both known and unknown reasons,” WAF said.
The forum also strongly condemned the police constant survivor-blaming, along with their unprofessional, aggressive attitude and sexist behaviour. Police llegally exposed the survivor’s identity and personal details by sharing the FIR with the media without redaction and increased her insecurity and vulnerability manifold, WAF said.
WAF said it endorsed the stand of the survivor and demanded a judicial inquiry into the encounter. In addition, PEMRA should take action against electronic media for exposing the survivor’s identity via unredacted FIR and ensure mandatory training on media reporting of GBV cases.
WAF demanded that PEMRA lift an unwarranted ban on electronic media coverage of the case. The forum called on the government to initiate systemic reforms in law enforcement agencies, judiciary, and legislation with regard to protect survivors’ identity in GBV cases. The government should also improve forensic investigation and undertake LEAs’ gender training, especially GBV crimes, WAF said. It also demanded judicial reforms to reduce the huge pendency in GBV cases.
“WAF pledges to continue standing with the Fatima Jinnah Park rape survivor as well as numerous others across the length and breadth of Pakistan – including those who have not been able to come out to report rape crimes, and also those forced into marrying their rapists or signing “compromise settlements”, the forum said.