Offences Against Property (Enforcement of ‘Hudood’) Ordinance, (2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan. (3) It shall come into force on the. Pakistan’s notorious Hudood Ordinances were promulgated in by the military regime of General Ziaul Haq. The most controversial of. Hudood Ordinances refer to the legislation of penal laws in Pakistan entitled “ Enforcement of Hudood Ordinances VI, VII, VIII and IX” on 10 February
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The Offence of Zina (Enforcement Of Hudood) Ordinance,
The laws rendered most sexual assault victims unable to seek redress through the criminal justice system, deeming them guilty of illegal sex rather than victims of unlawful violence or abuse.
For example, a person charged under the Hudood Ordinances will now be able to post bail. The Hudood Ordinances are fundamentally flawed and must be laww in their entirety.
Human Rights Watch said that Pakistan should ensure that it paws with its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which calls on states to modify or abolish laws that discriminate against women. Human Rights Watch called on Pakistan to decriminalize adultery and non-marital consensual sex and adopt rules of evidence that give equal weight to testimony given by men and women.
In addition, Human Rights Watch said that Pakistan should improve support services such as shelters and burn units for women, raise public awareness about the laws and better train police to deal with victims laqs sexual assault. Human Rights Watch urges President General Pervez Musharraf and members of the National Assembly to implement the recommendation and reject the current proposed amendments.
After General Zia ul-Haq came to power in through a military coup in Pakistan, he imposed and suspended all fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution, including the right to be free of discrimination on the basis of sex. He then introduced a series of laws that codified women’s status as subordinate in law, including the Hudood Ordinances and the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order Law of Evidence Orderwhich relegated women to inferior legal status and, in some circumstances, rendered their testimony to half the weight of a man’s.
As a result of these changes, rape was no longer covered by the standard penal code, but by the Offence of Zina Ordinance, a subcategory of the Enforcement of Hudood Ordinance of Prohibited sexual activities, including rape zina bil jabrbecame religious offenses, subject to different evidentiary 197 and punishment and the appellate jurisdiction of Islamic higher courts.
Pakistan’s previous rape laws, repealed by the Zina Ordinance, had defined rape as compulsory sexual intercourse. Statutory rape, previously defined as sex with or without the consent of a girl under the age of 14, was no longer a crime, meaning that girls could be charged for engaging in illicit sex if they had reached puberty.
Marital rape, too, was no longer considered a crime. In addition, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, fornication non-marital sex became illegal.
Both it and adultery became non-compoundable, non-bailable, and punishable at maximum by death. Since the crime of statutory rape was also eliminated, minor girls may also be charged with engaging in illicit sex if they have reached puberty.
Currently, the only guaranteed way to obtain a rape conviction is if the accused confesses or there are four adult male witnesses to the act of penetration. Otherwise, the courts have no consistent standards of proof for rape.
Pakistan: Proposed Reforms to Hudood Laws Fall Short | Human Rights Watch
As a result, courts sometimes view a woman’s allegations of rape as an admission of illegal sex, making sexual assault victims susceptible to prosecution themselves. Such cases have been less frequent in recent years, although the risk remains. The Pakistani Constitution was re-instated insubject to substantial amendments, by Zia ul-Haq, only to be suspended again by the military government in October It was restored in stages between November and Marchand although it contains provisions guaranteeing equality before law and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex alone, the Hudood Ordinances have been permitted to co-exist.
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