KARACHI ,February 22,2005: Honey, 32, a Christian woman who married a Muslim, Faisal Races, was stripped and severely bitten by her husband and has been hospitalized in Surgical VI ward of Civil Hospital Karachi. It was a love marriage.
With tears in her eyes, Honey told reporters on February 21 her husband was a criminal and had been recently released from jail. She said he was also an addict and in fact got infuriated when she asked him not to take drugs. According to Honey, her husband on Friday tied her brother with ropes and stripped her in front of him. Later, he beat her besides biting her nose and her entire body.
Her cries attracted neighbours who rushed her to Civil Hospital in precarious condition. Honey said her husband tortured her for two days. Her bother-in-law Sudhir claimed that Faisal Races had also bitten her breasts and genitals.
Prof Saeed Qureshi, medical superintendent of Civil Hospital and professor of surgery, confirmed that Honey had been severely beaten. “She was beaten up by her husband and her whole body is bruised. She is, however, out of danger,” he told the Daily Times.
Violence against women is on the rise in Karachi as elsewhere in Pakistan. “The increased discussion, at both official and non-official forums, on violence against women did not translate into a decline in the crimes committed against women. While figures on violence against women collected by various groups sometimes differed significantly, there was no evidence of any check in the number of cases of abuse,” says “State of Human Rights in 2004,” a report compiled by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan released recently.
“It was also notable that despite the attention devoted to the issue in parliament and by members of government, and the passage of a bill on ‘honour killings’, no efforts were made to ensure an improvement in ground realities.
Existing laws were often poorly implemented, and it was not clear what measures would be taken to ensure new legislation its enforcement,” it said.
Citing a report prepared by the Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid, an NGO, the HRCP said 10 women on an average were physically abused every day during the first eight months of 2004. The LHRA report stated 2,367 cases of physical abuse were reported throughout the country of which 1,518 were reported in Punjab, 565 in Sindh, 225 in the NWFP and 59 in Balochistan. 240 cases were reported in January, 250 in February, 228 in March, 213 in April, 287 in May, 413 in June, 351 in July and 385 in August, indicating an alarming increase. Of the 2,367 cases, 940 women were murdered while others had been tortured or beaten. In most of the cases, the perpetrator was related to the victim.
Most cases of stripping and of threats of violence were faced by couples who married of their own free will, the HRCP report said.
Nuzhat Shireen, coordinator of the Aurat Foundation, said: “We are continuously identifying cases of violence against women, but the government has failed to move. In fact cases like that of rape victim at Sui, a bum victim in Karachi and that of Honey are different forms of violence against women. It’s very sad that not only the governÂment but different political parties who had pledged in their manifesto to safeguard the interests of women are not making violence against women a priority issue. Even female members of the assembly have become victims of their male leadership and are silent,” she said.
Ironically, Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim visited Civil Hospital on February 21 evening and distributed flowers and sweets among some patients in Medical Ward-III and Paediatric Ward, but could not spare a few minutes for the severely beaten woman.
Source: Daily Times