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Honour killing cases: Police investigators need training to remove common flaws

Karachi: Defective investigation is one of the reasons behind acquittal of the perpetrators of killings in the name of honour. Police investigators need to be trained to remove common flaws in the investigation of honour killing cases and to improve overall capacity building of the officers in the field of crime investigation.

These views were expressed by Abdul Khalique Shaikh, DIG East, on Monday, following the inaugural of a five-day training workshop by the IG Sindh Police.

The event is part of the ‘Prevention of Karo-Kari Project’ initiated by the Sindh Police Department, under the auspices of the Gender Justice Unit of the United Nations Development Project (UNDP). DIG Shaikh, who is also the focal person of the project, observed that most of the murder cases do not end up in conviction in the courts leaving a conviction rate not more than two per cent.

The province of Sindh has the highest incident rate of Honour Killings that is more prevalent in rural areas of the province, though an increasing trend of incidence of this crime is being reported in urban and sub-urban areas too. The rate is higher in upper Sindh.

“Karo-Kari is not only a gross human rights violation but it also contributes to accentuate personal and tribal feuds, leading to serious policing problems in the province,” observed DIG Shaikh. He opined that police officers have been treating honour killings as any other murder case and therefore they need to be sensitised about the complicated aspects of investigation in such cases.

Some 26 police officers are participating in the workshop from various districts of Sindh that include Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur, Naushero Feroze, Larkana, Shahdadpur, Nawabshah, Sanghar and Tando Allah Yar.

The core objective of the workshop is to achieve a paradigm shift in the way the police officers perceive and deal with the cases of karo-kari while creating a team of capable, motivated and professional master trainers who would train other police officers in various districts.

Moreover, it aims to sensitise the trainees on the issue of violence against women thereby providing them an in-depth knowledge of the human rights’ concept while making them familiar with the international Human Rights standards for law enforcement officers.

It would also explore possibilities of better victim handling and victim protection mechanisms while making the under-training officers aware about preventive policing and preventive strategies pertaining to honour killing cases.

Earlier, Dr Ishaque Sarhandi spoke on the psychological perspective of violence against women and linked it to the responsibilities of the police. MPA Humera Alwani also shared her views on the matter.

The observers included women parliamentarians, city councillors and representative of different NGOs. They were of the view that the event would be a good opportunity for police officers of various ranks to improve their skills related to investigation of honour killing cases and get an insight into various aspects of violence against women and police responsibilities in preventing such incidents and, professional and just handling of the cases.

It may be worth mentioning here that this workshop is Phase-I of the training for police officers dealing with the Honour Killing cases. The officers who have been trained in this phase would be titled as ‘Master Trainers’ who will further train (as Phase-II of the training) police officers in their respective districts.
Source: The News
Date:9/29/2009

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