Target: Government of Pakistan: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Human Rights, Mr. Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar
Goal: Sentence parents who beat their daughter and poured acid over her body for looking at a boy to life imprisonment.
According to the annual reports of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, over 790 women were murdered in honor killings in 2010 and over 940 in 2011. Last week, in a village in the southern district of Kotli, the parents of a 15-year-old girl were arrested after their daughter died of trauma due to burns which covered 60 percent of her body. The parents, Muhammad and Zaheen, told the BBC that they caught their daughter, Anusha, disobeying them and looking at a boy, so they beat her and then poured acid over her body. Anusha’s mother told reporters that it was her daughter’s “destiny” to die this way. In March, the government of Pakistani-administered Kashmir made acid attacks and killings criminal offenses punishable with life imprisonment. Sign this petition and demand that the government uphold their law and sentence Muhammad and Zaheen, who admit to using acid to kill their daughter, to life imprisonment for this intolerable crime.
Muhammad and Zaheen said that they had already faced dishonor from their eldest daughter and feared that their younger daughter, Anusha, would bring their family more dishonor. Zaheen reportedly stated that she continued to pour the acid on her daughter even as Anusha was pleading with her, stating that she had not meant to look at the boy and that she would look again. Muhammad and Zaheen did not take their daughter to the hospital until the next morning and let her suffer through the night and slowly die from her burns.
Honor killings claim hundreds of lives every year. Making acid attacks and killings criminal offenses is a step in the right direction, but the government of Pakistan needs to stand by this law and enforce the sentence to the fullest extent. These horrific acts are not private affairs that should be kept in the family; honor killings are murder and a grotesque violation of human rights. These murders are premeditated and carried out with a deliberate desire to shame and torture the victims. And like Anusha, most victims are guilty of nothing more than looking at a boy. It is necessary to end this violence and we can start by sentencing Muhammad and Zaheen to life in prison for the murder of their 15-year-old daughter. Please sign this petition and support a maximum sentence for this intolerable crime.
Dear Mr. Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar,
In March, the government of Pakistani-administered Kashmir made acid attacks and killings criminal offenses punishable with life imprisonment. Last week, the parents of a 15-year-old girl were arrested after their daughter died of trauma due to burns that covered 60 percent of her body–acid burns that her parents had given her after she looked at a boy and brought dishonor to their family.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported an increase in honor killings between 2010 and 2011, an increase of over 100. This violence needs to end. It is a monstrous crime and should be treated as such. The parents of this teenage girl should receive the maximum punishment of life imprisonment for knowingly breaking the law and murdering their daughter. Giving them the maximum sentence sends a message that this violence against women will no longer be tolerated and shows that the Pakistan government is serious about ending this violence.
Please take a stand and denounce honor killings as murder. Enforce your law which names acid attacks and killings as criminal offenses. Work to right this violation of human rights and end this intolerable violence against women.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ssoosay via Flickr