KARACHI: After nearly six months of physical abuse, Shazia Aziz has finally escaped her alleged torturers — her husband and father-in-law.
Aziz, 26, made the claims at a press conference held at the office of her lawyer Zia Ahmed Awan on Friday. Aziz, a Karachi University graduate, married Faiyaz Mulji on April 20 of this year. While their families didn’t agree to the union, the couple privately registered their marriage in the city court. She moved in to her husband’s home on July 1, but her relationship turned violent only 15 days later.
“My father-in-law would join him in beating me,” she said. According to Shazia, she tried to leave several times but was forced to go back. “I was in touch with Zia Sb and was advised to leave with all of my important documents.”
Human rights lawyer Zia Ahmed Awan explained why he advised Shazia to do this. “Often we have cases where the women just flee but they have no passport, identity card, educational documents and it is very difficult to get these issued again.”
She eventually managed to escape her house on December 8, but not before the father and son beat her so brutally that she was bedridden for three days.
“They stripped me, shoved chillies in my private parts and tried to force me to drink urine.” She said the duo also bit her and beat her with sticks and slippers.
Aziz also claims that her father-in-law would try to forcibly enter her room, forcing her to hide in a bathroom until he would leave for work. When Shazia tried to tell her husband, who often travels to Gadap for work, he refused to believe her and beat her for “telling lies”.
“At first I wasn’t sure if my parents would support me, given that I had eloped,” Aziz said, “But they came through for me.” An emotional Shazia advised girls to never marry against their parent’s will, no matter how well they think they know the other person.
“I want justice, they should be punished the way they needlessly punished me!”
The police have not cooperated with Aziz. “I went several times to register a compliant at the Soldier Bazaar police station but the on-duty officer Zia refused to file a First Information Report (FIR).” She managed to get through to the SHO but he has been procrastinating. She has also pointed out problems with her medico legal examination, and said the female Medico Legal Officer (MLO) took pictures of her scars and bruises with her cell phone camera without Aziz’s consent.
“She also conducted the examination at the Police Surgeon Office and not at Civil hospital,” Aziz said. “The male MLOs would come one after another and keep asking me questions about my bruises.” According to Awan, “This kind of an examination is denying Shazia her rights.”