Torture victim’s husband, accomplice handed in police custody for four days

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–Amnesty International urges Pakistan to make systemic changes to protect women from violence

 

LAHORE: A local court on Thursday handed over the husband of torture victim Asma Aziz and his employee to the police on four-day physical remand, as an international rights outfit called for Pakistan to make systemic changes to protect women from violence.

Mian Faisal Aziz and his employee Rashid Ali were taken into custody on Wednesday after a video of Asma Aziz began circulating on social media. Aziz said her husband of four years had “always hit her a lot”.

“He took my clothes off in front of his employees. The employees held me as he shaved my hair off and burned it. My clothes were bloody. I was bound by a pipe and hung from the fan. He threatened to hang me naked,” she said in the video.

In an FIR [First Information Report] registered with Kahna Police on Tuesday, Asma said her husband and two of his employees tortured her over her refusal to dance for them.

On Thursday, the investigation officer told a magistrate that the husband had admitted to shaving his wife’s head.

Prosecutor Imran Arif submitted a police report in the court and said that investigators have yet to recover Asma’s hair, the machine used to shave it off, as well as the stick used to beat her. The prosecution requested the court to grant a 10-day remand of the suspects.

Asma, in her video, had also alleged that when she went to the Kahna police station to register a complaint, the officers, instead of providing her the FIR number or conducting a medical examination, asked her for money.

Superintendent Model Town Muhammad Ali Wasim had taken notice of her allegations and directed the deputy superintendent of police to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, in a tweet on Thursday, Amnesty International South Asia stated that although it is “glad that strong and swift action has been taken against the torturers of Asma Aziz, we note with dismay the alarming rise in reported cases of violence against women”.

“System change to protect women is necessary,” Amnesty said. “Action can’t only be taken on a case-by-case basis.”

 

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