KARACHI: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and family of the slain civil rights activist Perween Rahman on Monday expressed their dissatisfaction over the acquittal of five accused in Ms Rahman’s murder case and urged Sindh government to immediately file an appeal against the verdict and detain the acquitted men under MPO.
The HRCP in a statement issued in Lahore also demanded the provincial government provide the victim’s family, colleagues and legal team adequate security saying that the accused, once released would pose a grave and imminent threat to Ms Rahman’s family and her colleagues at Orangi Pilot Project (OPP).
It said: “Given the gravity of the crime and the substantial evidence on record, including an admissible confession by the principal accused, we believe that justice was not done.”
The HRCP said: “Ms Rahman’s murder was the product of a system in which the rule of law was easily subverted and human rights defenders must risk their lives to merely do their jobs.
“Her family has waited over nine years to get justice. The Sindh government must file an appeal immediately against the court’s judgment, while the state as a whole should reflect on its ability to provide justice to victims of violence,” it added.
Arrest under MPO demanded
The victim’s family said in a statement that a grave injustice had taken place as the Sindh High Court acquitted all five accused including the principal accused Raheem Sawati and vowed to challenge the judgment in the Supreme Court.
They said that all the accused were hardened and dangerous criminals, who posed grave and imminent threat to the family of Perween Rahman and the entire staff working at OPP.
The family said that the release of all the accused including the principle accused, who lived right across the OPP office, might force the office to close down.
They demanded immediate detention of the accused under Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960, or under any other relevant law.
The family urged the provincial government to immediately file an appeal against the SHC judgment.
They also urged the federal government to introspect on such cases as it appeared that victims and their families were unable to obtain justice in such cases of grave violence.