The State Department of the United States of America has issued its annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices for the Year 2015. The report extensively covers abuses of human rights violations in Pakistan.
The said report highlights incidents of human rights violations against Sindh Province’s second largest political party, Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) at the hands of law enforcement agencies, including incidents of enforced disappearances of MQM workers.
The 2015 Report of the State Department has also highlighted growing censorship and curbing of freedom of speech in Pakistan. Besides mentioning other incidents aimed at limiting freedom of speech, the 2015 Report cites placement of “blanket ban on all transmissions deemed to be against the judiciary, Pakistan army, or various law enforcement agencies. PEMRA issued the directive in reaction to 14 news channels airing a controversial speech on May 1 by MQM party leader Altaf Hussain…”
A few excerpts relating to MQM from the report are being reproduced below. Readers could access the full content of the report by clicking on the link at the end of the report.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:
a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life
The provincial government and political parties in Sindh and Punjab remained targets of attack. There was a significant increase in attacks on the Awami National Party (ANP), Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), Pakistan People’s Party,and government office holders. On August 16, militants killed Punjab Provincial Home Minister Shuja Khanzada and as many as 21 others in a suicide-bombing attack on his political office in Shadi Khan village, Attock district, Punjab.An offshoot of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed credit for the attack. On August 18, unknown assailants in Karachi shot and severely wounded MQM politician Abdul Rashid Godil. –
See more at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2015&dlid=252973#wrapper
A moratorium on capital punishment ended in December 2014, following the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar. Human rights organizations reported concerns with rule of law and due process violations, including the execution of individuals who were allegedly under the age of 18 years when they committed the crime.
There were kidnappings and forced disappearances of persons from various backgrounds in nearly all areas of the country. Some police and security forces reportedly held prisoners incommunicado and refused to disclose their location….
Karachi-based political party MQM alleged that the paramilitary Sindh Rangers kidnapped,tortured, and killed some of its members in ongoing security operations in Karachi. They claimed that as of August, 151 MQM members remained missing and that authorities killed 55 extra judicially in the operations. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan called for a probe into extrajudicial killings and disappearances of MQM workers. The Sindh Home Ministry reported that since late 2013, the operation, which was continuing, arrested 10,438 persons and killed 464.
As of March the judicial commission of inquiry on missing persons listed 211 Sindh missing persons cases as “untraced.” The Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances headed by Supreme Court Justice Javed Iqbal and retired law enforcement official Muhammad Sharif Virt received 2,722 missing persons cases between 2011 and March 31. The commission claimed to have disposed of 1,452 of those cases and to have traced 1,233 of the missing persons, while the rest of the cases remained open.
Section 2. Respect for CivilLiberties, Including:
a. Freedom ofSpeech and Press
In May, PEMRA (Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority) issued a blanket ban on all transmissions deemed to be against the judiciary, Pakistan army, or various law enforcement agencies. PEMRA issued the directive in reaction to 14 news channels airing a controversial speech on May 1 by MQM party leader Altaf Hussain that was critical of the military.
Please click the following link to read the full report: