Posts Tagged ‘attack’

Legal Aid from Acid Survivors Foundation: Conviction Record Broken In Pakistan

May 15th, 2015

In collaboration with DFID (CHASE) and EU:

See article from DAWN:

Amjad threw acid on ex-wife Javedan Bibi and her husband Muhammad Riaz after trespassing on their house on Dec 7, 2014. -Reuters/File
Amjad threw acid on ex-wife Javedan Bibi and her husband Muhammad Riaz after trespassing on their house on Dec 7, 2014. -Reuters/File

LAHORE: Anti-Terrorism Court-II of Multan on Thursday handed down 117-year rigorous imprisonment, along with Rs1 million fine, to a man for throwing acid on his former wife and her husband. The woman later died in hospital.

According to a prosecution department handout, Muhammad Amjad threw acid on his ex-wife Javedan Bibi and her husband Muhammad Riaz after trespassing on their house on Dec 7, 2014.

Amjad had fled away after committing the crime but was arrested later.

The seriously injured couple was shifted to the Burns Centre of Nishtar Hospital, Multan, where Javedan Bibi succumbed to her acid burns on Dec 26.

The case was registered against Amjad at Raja Ram police station, Multan, under sections 302, 324 and 326-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The case was heard by ATC-II Multan Judge Sajjad Ahmed Sheikh who announced the verdict on Thursday.

Deputy Prosecutor General Ashfaq Ahmed Malik represented the state.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2015

CHASE: ASF new project in collaboration with ASTI, BVSN and UK AID

April 16th, 2014

ASF new campaign : what to do in case of acid attack...

ASF press release

April 15th, 2014

Press release

On 14th April 2014, Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan organised an event in collaboration with National Commission on the Status of Women and Australian Aid to launch a report titled : Fostering effective implementation of pro human rights laws: Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011 (Act XXV), an example of good practice. ASF-P presented how Pakistan had worked to improve the implementation of the above mentioned law.

Ms Marvi Memon, PML-N MNA, a champion for the fight against acid violence in Pakistan, was welcome as a Chief Guest, Mrs Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women chaired the panel of discussion. Mrs Kishwar Zehra, MQM –MNA was also amongst the panelists in addition with his excellency, Mr Peter Hayward, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ms neelam Toru, Chairperson of the Provincial Commission on the Status of Women and Mrs Valerie Khan Yusufzai, Chairperson Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan.

The event was attended by various stakeholders from different areas in Pakistan (Balochistan, ICT, Punjab, KP, Sindh) and it included Law Enforcement Agencies representatives, lawyers, doctors, survivors, members of civil society media, acid survivors themselves.

The report highlighted that acid attacks reporting had increased (110 attacks in 2012 and 143 in 2013) which shows an encouraging trend to further break the silence and denounce violence against women and girls.

Additionally, the report insisted on the fact that police had made tremendous efforts to register due and correct FIRs under the new laws passed on 12th December 2011 when it faced acid attack cases. While only 1% of the FIRs were registered under the correct law, WITHOUT ASF intervention in 2012, 71% of the FIRs registered in 2013 were under the new and correct law, without ASF intervention.

All participants underlined that awareness campaigns to challenge discriminatory and patriarchal mindsets, as well as transfer knowledge, were crucial to achieve positive results in fostering law implementation. Judges now tend to punish far more severely in case of acid attack: before 2011, the average conviction was 6 to 10 years, now it is generally at least 20 years.

ASF also informed participants that in general, convictions were more severe since 2012, and judiciary was trying to ensure trials in a shorter timeframe to provide relief to survivors since 2013.

Mrs Khawar Mumtaz Chairperson NCSW acknowledged that those improvements were positive, that more reporting occurred thanks to a stronger mobilization of Pakistani citizens to denounce this worst form of gender based violence, but she also insisted on the remaining challenges, the need to work on data and build up synergies like the ones proposed by ASF.

Many survivors still do not have sufficient or adequate access to medical and rehabilitation services, 65% of the victims still could not access justice in 2013 and national consolidated data is still required. Marvi Memon, the Chief Guest declared that since 2010, Pakistan had come long way and she insisted that those improvements needed to be celebrated, but she also indicated that there was still a long way to go: the “comprehensive acid and burn crime bill” must be passed, now there is sufficient momentum to support this bill, and we owe it to other survivors, we will continue the fight and we will make hings move.

To this effect, Valerie Khan Yusufzai, called upon the government of Pakistan to lead the way and pass the Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill that Marvi Memon has tabled in the Parliamentary Committee of Law and Justice last week. “We are ready to provide technical help to review the comprehensive bill”, but it is urgent that the federal and provincial governments ensure stronger protection to Pakistani citizens. Much has been done, Pakistani has inspired many other countries to address acid violence such as Columbia and India but positive steps such as establishing burn centers and social rehabilitation centers, or medical boards must be part of a legislative framework to be sustained and institutionalized.

Mr Peter Hayward, Australian High Commissioner, congratulated ASF and all stakeholders for those improvements and reiterated Australia’s commitment to support ASF action.

Mrs Neelam Toru announced that the comprehensive bill was now ready with KP social welfare department so that it could be tabled, she said she knew cases were under-reported in KP as she had just been told of a case in Mardan on her way towards the event.

Ms Kiswar Zehra ensured ASF of MQM full support for the passage of he comprehensive acid and burn crime bill in assemblies.

Awards were later on distributed to police, lawyers and doctors from all over the country, what ASF called, the true heroes.

Samira Shackle from Newstatesman

April 15th, 2014

Acid attacks: a horrific crime on the increase worldwide

Around 1,500 cases are recorded every year but the real figure is probably far higher.

BY SAMIRA SHACKLE PUBLISHED 1 APRIL, 2014 – 12:10

Victims of spite: acid attack survivors at an anti-violence rally in Dhaka. (Photo: Rex Features)
Victims of spite: acid attack survivors at an anti-violence rally in Dhaka. (Photo: Rex Features)

Naomi Oni had left work and was on her way home to Dagenham, east London, when acid was thrown in her face. The attack took place in 2012 when she was just 20 years old. Oni is still undergoing painful skin grafts to rebuild her face.

In an emotional interview on Radio 4’s Today programme on 24 March, Oni, now 22, spoke of her isolation. “I didn’t choose this,” she said. “I’m only human.” She labelled the Metropolitan Police as incompetent: they initially suggested she had thrown acid on herself. They later charged Mary Konye, a former friend of Oni’s, with the attack; she was found guilty in January and jailed for 12 years.

Acid violence has been in the headlines after several high-profile cases. Last August, Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee, two British 18-year-olds, suffered a random attack in Zanzibar. The previous January, the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director Sergei Filin was assaulted by one of its principal dancers.

Worldwide, about 1,500 cases of acid violence are recorded every year, according to Acid Survivors Trust, but the real figure is probably far higher. And the sheer brutality of acid attacks – which take seconds to carry out but can cause permanent disability, as well as excruciating pain and disfigurement – makes them unusual and noteworthy.

It has been suggested that attacks are increasing in the UK but a lack of reliable statistics makes this difficult to verify. NHS statistics recorded 105 hospital admissions for “assault by corrosive substance” in 2011-2012, but this category covers not only acid. That contrasts with 44 admissions in 2006-2007. There is no ethnic or geographic evidence to back this up, but some reports suggest that honour crimes in south Asian, south-east Asian and East African communities are responsible for the increase.

Certainly attacks are prevalent in south Asia, but they also happen in Cambodia, Vietnam, Colombia, Peru and elsewhere, including the UK and the US. It is a kind of violence that transcends cultural and religious borders, but is most common in places where acid is readily available. In south Asia, where regulation is poor and acid is used in the cotton industry, a bottle of the stuff can be bought for 20p.

The crime has a long history in Britain. In the 1740s, when sulphuric acid was widely available, acid-throwing happened often. In the 1830s, one Glasgow periodical wrote that acid violence had “become so common . . . as to become almost a stain on the national character”.

Acid attacks are often a form of gender-based violence and, as such, they occur most commonly in countries where women are disenfranchised. Last year I visited the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) in Islamabad, the only centre in Pakistan dedicated to the rehabilitation and treatment of victims. The most striking thing about the stories of the women I met was the triviality of the causes: men taking revenge for rejected marriage proposals or husbands who got bored by their wives. It brought to mind the case of the former model Katie Piper, the UK’s most high-profile acid survivor, whose attack was orchestrated by an ex-boyfriend in 2008.

There are no hard and fast rules of this crime: men can be the victims of acid attack and women can be the perpetrators. Yet the attacks are always about exerting control and erasing identity. Mohammad Jawad, a plastic surgeon who operated on Piper and who appeared in Saving Face, the Oscar-winning documentary about acid attacks in Pakistan, described it thus: “The attacker is saying: ‘I don’t want to kill her – I am going to do something to distort her.’ It’s a walking dead situation for the victim.”

When the Today presenter Mishal Husain asked Oni why Konye had attacked her, she started to sob. “She is an evil person . . . No one in this world should throw acid on someone because they had an argument.”

It is a natural impulse to search for the reasons for such abuse, but can there ever be a justification? To most people it would be unimaginable to lose one’s face. As Oni said during her interview, explaining oneself and being disbelieved is a second abuse.

The situation for survivors of acid violence varies globally, but to differing extents all survivors feel socially ostracised. Few cultures are kind to disfigurement.

“Acid attack doesn’t mean the end of your life,” Valerie Khan, the director of ASF Islamabad, told me: “provided you receive those rehabilitation services to psychologically and physically repair you, mentally rebuild your self-confidence, and empower you economically – despite the new you, which is not necessarily an easy one to be accepted with.”

Acid violence is an extreme expression of control. Society can help to wrest some of that back for survivors by believing them, supporting them, providing medical treatment, and, crucially, redressing the balance with justice.

ASFs In The World Joining Hands To Provide Quality Psycho-Social Support To Acid Survivors

February 25th, 2014

All ASF srepresentatives from left to right: ASF bangladesh, BSVN (Nepal), CASC (Cambodia), ASF India, ASF Pakistan

Amenah Hassan, ASF representative, receiving an award at the closure ceremony of the International conference held in Bangladesh.

Presenting an example of good practice

Article From The NEWS

February 25th, 2014
Myra Imran
Thursday, February 13, 2014
From Print Edition
27  7  0  1
Islamabad

An acid attack survivor Samar Bibi has said that acid attack has destroyed her face but it is not the end of life for her. Rather, it is start of a new life.

She said this while speaking at the inauguration of an exhibition of photographs, titled ‘Visual Art Exhibition of the Work of Acid Attack Survivors’, captured by her and eight other acid attack survivors here Wednesday.

Showing enormous resilience and courage, nine acid attack survivors, trained as photographers, unveiled their photographs at the Pakistan National Council of Arts. The exhibition was organised to commemorate Pakistan National Women’s Day.

National Women’s Day highlights the struggle of women’s rights activists in Pakistan. The origins of the day go back to February 12, 1983, when women’s rights activists gathered at Lahore Mall to protest against anti-women legislation promoted by President Zia-ul-Haq. The women were stopped from proceeding to their planned destination, Lahore High Court, and were tear-gassed and hit by batons. Many of them were jailed for raising their voices against Zia.

“Women’s rights are human rights, and violence against women is a violation of human rights. The United States is committed to working with Pakistan to eliminate violence against women,” said United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, who inaugurated the exhibition.

“I believe that initiatives such as this project, which is aimed at assisting survivors in their rehabilitation process while providing them with an opportunity through knowledge of the business of photography to become entrepreneurs, can bring hope to the lives of these brave women,” she added.

The three-day exhibition that began Wednesday is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through its partners, Aurat Foundation, and the Acid Survivors Foundation under the Gender Equity Programme.

The ‘Visual Art Exhibition of the Work of Acid Attack Survivors’ displays the work of acid survivors who attended a two-week photography training workshop. The goal was to assist survivors in their rehabilitation process while providing them with photographic knowledge and skills that may later result in an income-generating activity.

ASF Chairperson Valerie Khan demanded the government to pass comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill at the provincial level to ensure that rehabilitation services for survivors. “Proactive and constructive response to acid and burn violence must be part of the wider indigenous policy to counter GBV in our country. For that, we need a stronger legal framework with an adequate implementation mechanism,” she said. The acid survivors’ photographs will be on sale at the event. Proceeds will help buy photographic equipment for survivors.

Economic Support to acid burn survivors in Pakistan, in collaboration with GEP, Aurat Foundation, US AID, Acid Survivors Foundation.

February 15th, 2014

Preparing the documentation to be signed when survivors receive goats: ASF will follow up the progress and the impact of the project on survivors' income generation

These photos stand for the 2nd form of entrepreneurship that was encouraged with survivors, after stitching courses, survivors received goats to breed them! Stay tuned for other options provided to them!

Regional Glance…

January 16th, 2014
India lags behind Bangladesh and Pakistan on acid attack laws
Dec 6, 2013 07:31 PM , By Anita joshua
Bangladesh was one of the first countries to legislate on acid attacks with the enactment of the Acid Control Act in 2002. File Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Bangladesh was one of the first countries to legislate on acid attacks with the enactment of the Acid Control Act in 2002. File Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The Supreme Court directive earlier this week to all States and Union Territories to put in place draft rules to regulate the sale of acid by this fiscal-end has once again brought to light India’s sluggishness in addressing acid crime.

In fact, India has long lagged behind first Bangladesh and then Pakistan in specifically criminalising acid attacks. It was only earlier this year that the Centre — on Supreme Court’s prodding — amended the criminal law to punish perpetrators of acid attacks with 10-year imprisonment.

This contrasts sharply with neighbouring Bangladesh and somewhat even with Pakistan. Bangladesh has had an acid law for over a decade now and is often flagged as exemplary in this regard. In fact, it was one of the first countries to legislate on acid attacks with the enactment of the Acid Control Act in 2002. Under the Act, the unlicensed production, import, transport, storage, sale and use of acid was made punishable with a prison sentence of three to 10 years.

In the sub-continent, Pakistan came a distant second in putting in place the legal instruments to specifically deal with acid attacks. The penal code and the criminal procedure code were amended in 2011 to provide maximum of life imprisonment for perpetrators of acid attacks. But, as is the case in India, Pakistani provinces are yet to legislate to regulate the sale of acid and other corrosive substances.

New Documentary, New Adventure…Come And Check!

November 18th, 2013

Please click on this link, you will be amazed…


http://vimeo.com/75087640

Rule of law? Another example, and we want more court decisions like these…

October 24th, 2013

Acid attack: Man jailed for 42 years

Published: October 8, 2013

FAISALABAD: An anti-terrorism court judge on Tuesday awarded 42 years rigorous imprisonment to a man for attacking his wife with acid.

Muhammad Arshad of Chak 234-JB had thrown acid on his wife on September 6 after the two had quarrelled. She was severely injured.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2013.