Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Pakistani women prisoners wait for their release order at a jail in Karachi.

"President General Pervez Musharraf signed an amendment to the 'Hadood Ordinance' on Friday. The amendment grants bail rights to women charged with 'adultery' and other minor crimes under Islamic laws.

Basically this grand concession means women convicted of 'adultery' or 'sex outside marriage' can be released on bail rather than having to serve prison sentences.

In other words rape victims get to live life on bail instead of in prison.

The ordinances have also been used as a weapon against women who defy marriage choices made by their families.

Musharraf promised five years ago to amend the Hadood Ordinances, only to backtrack in the face of stiff opposition from hard-line Islamic groups. Efforts by the governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to modify or repeal the laws faced the same problem and "foundered on the assertion that they are drawn from the Koran and the Sunnah" (the sayings of Mohammad). Hudood means "limitations or boundaries" in Urdu.

So ok he did good, Musharraf, under the circumstances. Still I'd agree with a human rights activist in Pakistan, IA Rahman, who praised the move, but demanded that the ordinance be repealed.

There are about 6,500 women in prison over Hudood Ordinance charges in Pakistan.

Its a form of adopted British common law that prevents Sharia law instigating the usual punishments such as stoning and lashing. The Islamic and ordinary legal systems often overturn each others' decisions in unresolved jurisdictional battles.

The Ordinance however still ensures that rape prosecutions are made almost impossible because as we all know 4 male witnesses are required by Sharia law.

(Unless you are allegedly raped by an American soldier in Iraq, then all Sharia bets are off and conveniently religious taboos prevent science assisting a fair trial)

A tiny success for womens 'rights' somewhere they're really needed.


At Monday, 17 July, 2006, Anonymous Enid said...

Yes well done Musharraf, have a feeling he would like to do more but cannot because of the Immans. Still a small but significant success for women. Let's hope more is on the way. Re British Common law prevent stonings, etc., you mean those nasty colonialists prevented barbaric local savagery from being carried out. Oh my.

At Monday, 17 July, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

I know! Oh my. Maybe thats why the left havent promoted this issue.


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