KARACHI: 22 victims of HR abuse get aid

August 10, 2003

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KARACHI, Aug 9: The federal government has given cheques of Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 to each of the 22 families from all over the province, as a part of financial assistance to the victims of human rights violation.

The beneficiaries include victims of human right violations, such as kidnapping, rape, police brutalities, arrest of women, extra-judicial deaths and torture.

Federal Joint Secretary Law, Justice and Human Rights Division Akhtar Ahsan distributed the cheques among the victims, saying that the grant is being given for medical treatment and legal aid.

According to him, a committee headed by him scrutinized cases for provision of financial assistance from all the four regional directorates and selected 250 deserving families.

“The government has distributed cheques worth Rs2 million among these people from all over Pakistan, who have no other way to afford medical treatment, legal aid or bread and butter for their families,” he informed. Out of this amount, he said that 25 cheques varying between Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 had been given to each victim from Sindh, depending upon the nature and gravity of human rights violations.

Bitterly criticizing some human rights organizations, he alleged that such groups were involved in defaming Pakistan in the garb of human rights violations and receiving financial benefits from foreign donors.

“There are people and organizations in Pakistan, which exaggerate the human rights violations in the country to get financial benefits from foreign donors,” he said and asked such groups to work for the betterment of society and welfare of people.

Citing a recent survey, he said over 60 per cent prisoners confined at jails in Sindh including women prison, were under- trial prisoners and due to lack of resources and financial aid, these people were suffering without being indicted by the courts.

“Owing to the non-availability of space at police stations, accused are sent to jails and regrettably, majority of these people confined at jails is awaiting their trials,” he said and asked human rights organizations to work for the relief of such people, particularly women and children.

Human rights activist Jimmy Engineer, Deputy Director Regional Directorate Human Rights Maj (Retd) Nazarul Islam and others were also present on the occasion.—PPI