A moving and beautiful tribute to Hassam Qadir Shah, advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, a principled human rights lawyer and decent human being with a million dollar smile and gentle manner, married to the filmmaker Aisha Gazdar. Thank you Kamayani for writing this #RIP – Tribute to Hassam , Friend and Human Rights Activist from Pakistan. Here’s a link to Hassam’s seminal booklet on criminal procedures, in easy to read Q&A format about gender violence in Pakistan, “There is no ‘honour’ in Killing – Don’t Let them Get Away with Murder’ (Shirkat Gah, 2002)
By Beena Sarwar
BOSTON, Massachusetts, Nov 27 2012 (IPS) - Efforts to promote the use of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of obtaining oil and natural gas, face stiff opposition from researchers and citizens who say that in its present form, the technology’s risks far outweigh its worth. (more…)
My article for The News on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 – in which I forgot to mention the resolution Iqbal Haider tried to get the Senate to pass against the cold-blooded murder of young Saima Sarwar in the office of Hina Jillani at the behest of her own parents, simply because she wanted a divorce from her abusive husband. Some senators from FATA physically attacked him for it (See my article ‘There is no ‘honour’ in killing).
The protests outside Karachi Press Club will be all the poorer without Senator Syed Iqbal Haider’s energising presence. Activists promoting any good cause could count on him to be there — whether it was justice for Mukhtaran Mai, protest against Shia killings, or a call for peace between India and Pakistan. (more…)
This is a slightly longer version of my interview of Bangladeshi photographer-activist Shahidul Alam published in Latitude News, May 4, 2012, with reference to his exhibition at Queen’s Museum in New York. The exhibition is an attempt to internationalise the issue of extra-judicial killings. Thousands have been killed in such ‘crossfire’, allegedly at the hands of Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) that the U.S. and UK governments have been training and providing arms to.
In “Crossfire,” an exhibition of photographs at the Queens Museum of Art in New York that closes on Sunday the 6th, acclaimed Bangladeshi photographer and activist Shahidul Alam chronicles the extra-judicial killings allegedly committed by Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion, or RAB.Over a thousand victims have been ‘cross-fired,’ or executed by police without trial, in the last four years in the South Asian country, human rights activists claim. Many more people, perhaps thousands in total, have suffered similar fates, they say. (more…)
“Allow Woeser the freedom to express and to travel”: Prominent Asian intellectuals appeal for Tsering Woeser
Chinese authorities have not only prevented the Tibetan writer and historian Tsering Woeser from receiving the prestigious Prince Claus Award for 2011 in Beijing (being awarded by the Dutch Ambassador to China) but her movements within Beijing have been restricted, says a statement issued from Kathmandu by Prince Claus laureates Arif Hasan (Karachi, Pakistan), Ganesh Devy (Vadodara, India), Jyotindra Jain (New Delhi, India), Kanak Mani Dixit (Kathmandu, Nepal) and Mehrdad Oskouei (Tehran, Iran). (more…)
Citizens’ statement of concern about the democratic process in Pakistan democratic and safety of human rights defenders, to be released to the media on Jan 5, 2012 (to endorse, please enter your information in the form at this link)
We, the undersigned, express our grave concern that Pakistani human rights defenders are being threatened and intimidated for their stance in the ‘memogate’ case. We are also concerned at the danger this crisis poses to Pakistan’s democratic political process that had taken a step forward with the elections of 2008. (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan, Progressive politics | Tagged: Activism, agencies, Asma Jahangir, democracy, Human rights, Husain Haqqani, judiciary, memogate, Pakistan, security establishment, supreme court | 1 Comment »
It is an outrage and a violation of freedom of expression that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) continues to block Baloch Hal in Pakistan at a time when this voice needs to be heard across the country now, more than ever. Reproduced below, BH editorial pegged on the target killing of Dr Baqir Shah (emphasis added):
Editorial: War Against Baloch Doctors
The late police surgeon was somewhat an easy target for terrorists for a host of reasons. His situation could enable any murderer to immediately vanish in thin air because of the circumstances that shrouded the late doctor. He gained enormous national and international media attention after conducting the postmortem of five foreigners who were killed on May 17 in what is now remembered as the infamous and tragic Kharotabad incident. (more…)
A tribute to the human rights activist Zarteef Khan Afridi who was shot dead recently – my article in The News on Sunday. Latitude News earlier published a shorter, different version titled In Pakistan, an unlikely hero dies for his cause. Also see my earlier article: Pakistan’s ‘enlightenment’ martyrs
There was the letter from an anonymous writer saying he was going to hunt down and kill her. And then there was the letter from an Afridi tribesman offering to come down and protect her.
This was in the mid-1990s. The recipient of the letters was the fiery human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir, under threat for having taken on the case of Salamat Masih, the illiterate Christian boy sentenced to death for ‘blasphemy’ for having allegedly written sacrilegious words on the walls of a village mosque. (more…)
Filed under: Human rights | Tagged: adult education, afghan war, Asma Jahangir, Benazir Bhutto, blasphemy, Citizen Rights & Sustainable Development, CRSD Peshawar, Education, fata, Gender, HRCP, Human rights, Idrees Kamal, Jamrud, Khyber, mujahideen, nasim wali, Pakistan, Political Parties Act extended to Fata, salamat masih, women elections, women stopped from voting, Zarteef Afridi | 3 Comments »
Below please see a letter from Young Women of Balochistan, forwarded by a friend who received it via email on Dec 10, 2011, Human Rights Day – a day commemorated around the country and dedicated to the people of Balochistan by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (See this report by Rabia Ali). Ironically and tragically, that very day, a young Baloch human rights activist, 35-year old Faisal Mengal, was gunned down in Karachi (details in this report). As Rabia Ali reports, from July 2010 to November 2011, around 300 dead bodies were found — some even of 14-year-olds, according to Tahir Hussain, Vice Chairperson of the HRCP’s Balochistan chapter. Those killed include two HRCP activists, while the number of people missing range from 5,000 to 6,000. Read on for this brief appeal by the Young Women of Balochistan… (more…)
Interview: Beena Sarwar on Journalism and Safety in Pakistan
Published in Asia Society blog, November 8th, 2011
Rind, an editor and columnist with the Urdu-language newspaper Daily Tawar, was kidnapped in his hometown of Hub in southern Balochistan province. The discovery of his body paints a bleak picture of the working conditions for journalists in the troubled country, who battle pressures on the international front from the war on terror and human rights and ideological issues at home. (more…)