Recent Victims of the Shariah Law

Shariah law imposes second class status on women and is incompatible with the basic principles of human rights that include equality under the law and the protection of individual freedoms. The shariah code mandates complete authority of men over women, including the control of their movement, education, marital options, clothing, bodies, place of residence and each and every aspect of their existence. Further, it calls for the beating, punishment, and murder of women who don’t comply with shariah requirements. To question a judgment under Sharia (right or wrong) is to question Islam itself and will only bring harsh punishment.

17 year old Chand Bibi – The teenage girl was filmed being flogged by the Taliban in Pakistan’s restive Swat valley and the videotape was aired on television channels on 6 April, 2009. The teenager was shown being held down by three men while a fourth flogged her. There are conflicting reports about Chand Bibi’s alleged ‘crime’. The Taliban justified the punishment, saying she had been living in ‘sin’ with her father-in-law. Days later, she was reported to have been punished for letting an electric meter reader inside her home when she was all alone. The third report claims she was framed, and punished, as a retribution for refusing to marry a Talib. Whatever the reason, ultimately Chand Bibi was found guilty of zina, or sex without legal sanction, and subjected to flogging. She later reportedly told the judge of a Qazi or Islamic court and Divisional Commissioner Syed Mohammad Javed that such an incident had never happened. ( April, 2009)

Fourteen people held 50-year-old woman Allah Wasai and her 14 year old daughter at gun point, stripped them naked and thrashed them in front of a large number of people in Shehr Sultan town near Mirwala, to teach the women a lesson for the wrongdoing of Allah Wasai’s son. The main accused, Safdar, alleged that Allah Wasai’s son Saddam Husain had an affair with his daughter. ( 6 July, 2010)

Mother and daughter stripped naked and beaten in public. (July 2010)

In the Khyber Agency (one of Pakistan’s semi autonomous tribal areas), the steps of the Shariah court are constantly filled with men lined up in single file waiting for their cases to be heard, surrounded heavily armed men.

Taliban enforcers in Pakistan have been filmed in a chilling video shooting down two lovers charged with committing adultery, reports the BBC. In the video, the man and woman are seen talking to members of the Taliban, and then move away as they appear to sense the danger they’re in. Both are shot several times, then shot again when the gunmen see they are still moving. The cell-phone video, which has stunned Pakistanis, was shot by a reporter in a village controlled by the Taliban. (26 April, 2010)

According to journalists in Pakistan, the implementation of religious laws in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) could be linked to the recent increase in the abduction and rape of young girls. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information concerning the case of at least half a dozen girls, aged between 10 and 14, who have been abducted from areas near the Afghanistan border in recent months. The Shariah law, as interpreted and practiced by the Taliban in the region, is posed as an excuse for the abduction and marrying of minors. (NWFP, 8 May, 2009)

14-year-old girl, Ruqayya, from New Jalozai near Cherat Cantonment was abducted from a public road in Nowshera district. The girl was reportedly abducted on her way to school. The family lodged an FIR (first information report) at the Pabbi Police Station. Though two suspects were arrested, the girl was not located. The family eventually found her in the custody of a Pakistani soldier, 1000 km away in Rajanpur, Punjab province. The family claims that the soldier first admitted purchasing the girl from a kidnapper; though later he argued that Ruqayya had willingly married him at a local court. He prevented the girl from reuniting with her family. The family’s efforts to gain access to her have been unsuccessful so far. ( Nowshera, 9 February, 2009)

13-year-old Gulnaz,cousin of Ruqayya, was also kidnapped in late 2008. She was found six weeks later in a brothel in the company of a police constable. The officer claimed that he had purchased the girl from another person. (Nowshera, 2008)

Zafran Bibi 28, walked into the police station in the village of Kerri Sheikhan, deep in the valleys of Pakistan’s North West Frontier, and gave a harrowing account of how she had been raped by a neighbour. Medical tests were ordered, witnesses questioned and a trial was held. But Pakistan’s archaic legal system, a mix of secular and Islamic codes, offers little protection for women. Bibi, was convicted of adultery under Islamic laws which many regard as deeply prejudicial. Last month, a year after she reported the rape, a judge sentenced her to death by stoning. For several weeks the young mother has lived in solitary confinement in a death cell behind the redbrick walls of Kohat jail nursing her seven-month old daughter. An appeal will be heard before an Islamic court in Islamabad later this month. Justice Ali Nawaz Chauhan of the Lahore High Court has observed that the DNA test is not acceptable as evidence to establish the offence of Zina under the Hudood laws which require a direct testimony in such cases. (NWFP, 2001)