The Face of Injustice: UNPO Condemns Recent Acid Attacks in Balochistan
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) strongly condemns the heinous acid attacks that have targeted four women, in the Kili Kamalo area on the outskirts of Quetta and in the Mastung district on Monday, 21st of July 2014.
Amongst the women targeted, were two young sisters ages 12 and 14 who received burns to their faces. These attacks constitute a severe violation of human rights, and the victims are at risk of being permanently disfigured and burned. Pakistan has signed and ratified several international human rights conventions dealing with social, political and women’s rights and as such is required to ensure the safety and rights of all their citizens.
The number of acid attacks against women in Balochistan has increased in recent years, but international attention to this matter remains limited. There have been a reported 55 cases in 2010, 150 in 2011, and 130 in 2012 in the whole of Pakistan. While other institutions such as local hospitals often report higher numbers and cases of acid attacks. Cases such as those of Nalia Farhat and of Irum Saeedm [pictured left and right, respectively] have helped to increase awareness of acid attacks to the general populations and have helped to create some limited measures. Most of the time, the perpetrators are never caught nor held accountable for their crimes.
Young women and girls everywhere, deserve the right to live their lives, as guaranteed by their universal human rights, without having to be in constant fear for their safety. As of 2011, Pakistan, has signed a law that results in harsher punishments for perpetrators, but even with these changes it is hard for victims to get the justice they deserve and are often times ignored or forgotten. As long as the government institutions such as the courts and the police do not enforce the laws and take greater preventative measures the numbers of attacks will continue to rise.
UNPO will continue to work with its Baloch and other Pakistani members to bring into light these heinous acts, and urges the Pakistani authorities to carry out a thorough and fair investigation into the recent attacks.
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Photos by Mr Javed Kapoor