Stories about justice

Sughra died when she was 11, but she will not rest in peace

We live in a society where children are not taught much about the different forms of abuse. As adults, we are reluctant to discuss sex education, necessary for their safety. Child sexual abuse is prevalent in our society, so there is no point in being in denial about it, and it has a very harmful impact, not just on the bodies but also the minds of the victims. Exploitation of such kind, taking place at a tender age, can have unimaginable life-long effects; leaving the victim emotionally scarred for life, including but not limited to shaking his/her confidence and annihilating ...

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When the media gets off the wrong side of the bed

The media takes a lot of flak across the world when it gets something wrong. In the fast paced world, with the events and happenings toppling over each other due to speed, mistakes do happen. These mistakes sometimes evoke guffaws and get stacked into the category of bloopers, but at other times, they evoke horror and outrage that is difficult to live down. When the media was restricted to print, it was easy to cover tracks by printing a corrigendum. Sometimes it was self-generated, at others due to protests lodged by the offended party or the mistake being pointed out ...

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Salahuddin Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mujahid hangings: A case of ‘judicial murder’?

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, a senior opposition leader and former minister in Khaleda Zia’s government, and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid of the Jamaat-e-Islami party were sent to the gallows last Sunday. The state of Bangladesh held them accountable for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence. The state’s actions have received widespread criticism from opposition parties and international human rights groups – not for their alleged war crimes, but in the way the entire trial was conducted. The defendants were not given a fair opportunity to produce their witnesses for their defence. The International Crimes Tribunal had awarded capital punishment to Chowdhury and Mujahid in October 2013. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh, ...

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He raped and killed his five-year-old daughter for being too ‘flirty’ – let that sink in before you proceed

If you’ve ever wondered what the face of barbarism looks like, then look no further than this man. Photo: Daily Mail His name is Fayhan al-Ghamdi, and according to reliable sources such as Gulf News and The Independent, he is a famous preacher in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who regularly appears on local television. Photo: Gulf News To say the least, Ghamdi wasn’t happy with his daughter, Lama. He found her innocent smile as well as her other mannerisms to be flirtatious, and soon began to suspect that she wasn’t a virgin. The only problem ...

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Will the Budget 2015-16 be merciful to the common man?

Zeenat Bibi lives in a small city in interior Sindh; she works as a housemaid to make ends meet. Every year she works harder and secretly hopes that her life will get better this time around. She hopes she can earn enough money to purchase sufficient food for her children, send them to school, and buy new clothes for them on Eid. But she is disappointed each time, because the harder she works, the higher the inflation rates soar, making life even more difficult for her than what it was in the past year. The life of a common man in ...

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What does the IS have in common with the US?

After 9/11, the US administration decided to go on a mass “witch hunt” to locate and exterminate culprits whom they believed were behind the attacks on the World Trade Centre. The ultimate culpability and responsibility for the attacks was placed on Osama bin Laden, the then head of al Qaeda. Although the prime suspects for the 9/11 attacks were led to be of Arab descent, the location where it was believed that Bin Laden and his associates were residing was Afghanistan. Afghanistan, at the time, had gone through a series of internal struggles during their war with the USSR, in which Afghan Mujahideen had fought ...

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Global patriarchy and women of a lesser God

I came across a story today that left me disturbed to the bone; a 24-year-old married woman, mother of two, hailing from a small town in Madhya Pradesh, India, was punished and made to do the unthinkable. Yes, the unthinkable. She was allegedly having an affair with a man and left her husband to be with him. On being discovered, she was brought back to her village of Wadha to be presented before the panchayat (village council). Both, the woman and her alleged lover, were beaten up, and the woman was stripped and forced to breastfeed her alleged lover in public. The assumption here is ...

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Battered and silenced for standing up for education

Munir*, a young man from a poor village of Southern Punjab, is lost in the flow of his erratic thoughts while being bedridden for the last two months now. He starts telling his story, carrying a reminiscent look on his face,  “I decided to join my father after graduating, to help him run the only school in the village. The thing that brought me back was my father’s commitment to the cause of education – which he had been doing so all by himself for so many years.” Munir hails from a shabby village called Akbar Sahu, 216 miles south of Islamabad, ...

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Is mob justice the only option left?

“Robbers beaten up by people in xyz area,” “Police save and arrest robbers caught and beaten up badly by the people of the neighbourhood they were robbing,” “One robber dead and others badly injured when angry mob caught them running away after looting a house.” These are just a few of the headlines that I have come across on various news channels. Mob justice seems to have become the latest method of justice being meted out across Pakistan; I hadn’t realised how prevalent it was in Karachi until very recently. My initial reaction to mob justice was always a shake of the ...

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My beautiful boys, my murderers

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.” – Carl Sagan “We killed our mother because she was supporting them.” Read those words. Read them again. In fact, keep on reading them until you can find even the slightest hint of humanity in them. After all, they are the words from a son about his own mother. I have been doing that, in a desperate attempt to find at least some common ground between myself and these people. This was the line that ...

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