Sep 4, 2007

1979: Hudood Ordinance Enforced

1979: General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the military dictator of Pakistan, enforced the Hudood Ordinances (Text of Ordinance)as part of the Islamization process, with a view to implement Muslim Shari'a law, which imposes sanctions for a number of crimes mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah. Read General Zia Islamization Details.

Women were the first victim of Zia's effort to marginalise the secular political parties and use Islam as a political capital to strengthen his hold on the society.

How Rape Victims were Incarcerated or Whipped?

A woman raped, risked incarceration and whipping, if she decided to pursue the legal means. To punish her rapist, a victim needed 4 male pious muslims for maximum (hadd) punishment, which include stoning to death of rapist, which was almost impossible. She could only use her testimony, DNA test and other evidences for lesser (tazir) punishment, that was fine, imprisonment and/or whipping, for the rapist. If she failed to prove a rape than she risked being punished for illicit sexual activity (adultery).

According to advocates Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Tazir punishments or public whippings occur frequently. (Read excellent summary here)

Actual Cases where raped victim were charged with adultery:
Nazir Bashir Case: Karachi, 2003
Zafran Bibi Case: Kohat, 2002

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