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Call to protect police abduction victim in Pakistan

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Rachel Salmon
WVoN co-editor 

A human rights organisation is calling on the Pakistani authorities to protect a 16-year-old girl, who was abducted by police and held hostage for nearly a year, after her brother was shot dead outside a police station.

Equality Now, which campaigns against violence and inequality against women, has taken up the case of Uzma Ayub of the Karak district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

Ayub was abducted by police and held hostage for nearly a year. During this time she was repeatedly gang-raped by men who allegedly included police officers and a civilian member of the Pakistani Army.

On December 9, Equality Now learned that Uzma’s 25-year-old brother, Alamzeb Marwat, who had been supporting Uzma, was hit by a car and shot dead outside of a Karak court house while picking up legal documents with her.

Following pressure from the media and local human rights groups, five men have now been arrested, though one is still at large.

In the light of this murder and ongoing threats against Uzma and her family, Equality Now is deeply concerned for their safety and today issued an Urgent Alert calling on Pakistani officials to ensure the family’s immediate protection; make certain that Uzma’s case is properly investigated and that all the perpetrators are prosecuted; protect local human rights organisations that are being threatened; and to bring Alamzeb’s killers to justice without delay.

“This case epitomises all the problems with Pakistan’s justice system – a system that repeatedly fails victims of sexual violence,” said Equality Now’s Global Director Yasmeen Hassan.

Equality Now wants to mobilize global public pressure so that  Pakistani officials will immediately address the crimes committed against Uzma and her family, including those aimed at stalling her quest for justice.

Learn more about the case of Uzma Ayub here.

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