Sunday, August 31, 2008

When Patriarchy Makes the Rules I

This appeal from the Asian Human Rights Commission describes a recent atrocity in Pakistan. In the province of Balochistan, five women were buried alive, allegedly by a relative of a provincial minister who is a prominent leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party and his accomplices.

The five women are:
Fatima, 45
Jannat Bibi, 38
Fauzia, 18
A young woman between 16 and 18
Another young woman between 16 and 18.
I will provide names as they become available.

When the possibility of a probe was broached in Pakistan's parliament
Senator Israrulla Zehri told a fellow Senator, Bibi Yasmin Shah, to keep quiet when she took up the issue. “This is part of our Baloch traditions. We will not let anyone interfere with this,” said Zehri on the floor of the house.

Another Senator, Jamal Khan Leghari, protested, saying
I am also a Baloch but would not link the Baloch traditions to such kind of act against humanity. No Baloch can dare to even think of taking such action."
(source for both quotes above)

Abdul Sattar Umrani is a brother of Minister Sadiq Umrani is the alleged murderer, along with six or more unknown accomplices, and apparently used a Balochistan government vehicle to transport the victims to a remote area, where they first shot the three teens and began to bury them, wounded but alive. When the other two women, one an aunt of one victim and the other the mother of another, protested, they, too, were thrown into the pit and buried alive.

The supposed reason for Abdul Sattar Umrani to have abducted and murdered these women is that the three teens had expressed a desire to marry men they had chosen rather than be married to men of their fathers' choosing, as required by Baloch tribal tradition.

These types of barbaric tragedies must be stopped! This is patriarchy in its ugliest and most abominable form! When women can't or won't be controlled by men, kill them. Unacceptable in any society! Unworthy of any tradition!

The site linked above, belonging to the Asian Human Rights Commission, has a button for sending an appeal letter to President Musharraf, Prime Minister Gillani, and others. Please go there and use it!


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