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Live Burials

Justice Denied 

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information
from a remote area of Balochistan province, that five women were
buried alive, allegedly by the younger brother of Mr. Sadiq Umrani,
the provincial minister and a prominent leader of the Pakistan
People's Party, the ruling party. However, police have still not
arrested the perpetrators after one month of the incident.


 The Umrani tribe is mainly concentrated in the Jafarabad and
Naseerabad districts of Balochistan provice that are about 300
kilometers from Quetta city, the provincial capital. Mr. Sadiq
Umrani, the provincial minister for housing and construction, was
elected to the Balochistan Assembly in the February 18, 2008
elections from Dera the Murad Jamali constituency of district
 The incident of the women being buried alive occurred in a remote
village, the Baba Kot, 80 kilometers away from Usta Mohammad city of
Jafferabad district. It is believed that due to the influence of the
minister and his brother the incident was not reported in the media.

 According to the information received, five women were Ms. Fatima,
wife of Umeed Ali Umrani, Jannat Bibi, wife of Qaiser Khan, Fauzia,
daughter of Ata Mohammad Umrani, and two other girls, aged between 16
to 18 years. They were at the house of Mr. Chandio at Baba Kot
village and to leave for a civil court at Usta Mohammad, district
Jafarabad, so that three of the girls could marry the men of their
choice. Their decision to have marriage in court was the result of
several days of discussions with the elders of the tribe who refused
them permission to marry. The names of two younger girls were not
ascertained because of strong control of tribal leaders in the area.

 As the news of their plans leaked out, Mr. Abdul Sattar Umrani, a
brother of the minister, came with more than six persons and abducted
them at gun points. They were taken in a Land Cruiser jeep, bearing a
registration number plate of the Balochistan government, to another
remote area, Nau Abadi, in the vicinity of Baba Kot. After reaching
the deserted area of Nau Abadi, Abdul Sattar Umrani and his six
companions took the three younger women out of the jeep and beat them
before allegedly opening fire with their guns. The girls were
seriously injured but were still alive at that moment. Sattar Umrani
and his accomplices hurled them into a wide ditch and covered them
with earth and stones. The two older women were an aunt of Fauzia and
the other, the mother of one minor. When they protested and tried to
stop the burial of the minors that were plainly alive, the attackers
were so angry that they also pushed them into the ditch and buried
all alive. After completing the
 burial, they fired several shots into to the air so that no one
would come close.

 The minors were educated and were studying in classes from 10 to 12.
They were punished for trying to decide about their marriages.

 After one month the police have still not registered the case and it
is difficult to get more detailed information. The provincial
minister is so powerful that police are reluctant to provide details
on the murder. When the AHRC contacted Mr. Sadiq Umrani, provincial
minister, he confirmed the incident by saying that only three women
had been killed by unknown persons. He denied his or his brother's
involvement. He went on to say that the police will not disclose any
information about the case as to do so now would be implicate
themselves. However, concerned officers of two different police
stations have confirmed the incident and explained that no one is
providing any information. Also as they could not find the graves of
the victims it is difficult to register the case. The victim's family
members have since left the place and their whereabouts are unknown.

 The alleged perpetrator, Mr. Abdul Sattar Umrani, the brother of the
provincial minister, was also involved in murder of three persons,
including one young woman, in January 2006. That case was similar in
that a school teacher, Mr. Mohammad Aslam, was going with his lover
in a taxi to a civil court to court marry. The perpetrators stopped
them at Manjo Shori, sub district Tumboo, District Naseerabad and
killed all three persons by gun fire. The dead included the taxi
driver, Mr. Jabal Aidee. The police were unable to institute a murder
case for five months until the intervention of Mr. Iftekhar Choudhry,
the deposed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and also the deputy
speaker of Senate. But only one person was arrested and the
perpetrator Abdul Sattar Umrani remained at large.



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