[Dear Mukto-monas, The following news is the example of great success for the  Rationalists and Humanists who are concerned about the inhumane Sharia Law. Members of this forum are requested to send email messages to the President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf and request him to intervene and stop the execution of Zafran Bi Bi and the abolishing of the inhuman Islamic hudood law. I would like to request Mr. Abul Kasem or Mr. fatemolla to produce a draft letter for the Mukto-mona members so that members can sign and send their letter  to honorable President.

Zafran Bibi is a young Pakistani woman who last year told police that she was raped by a local villager. Her complex case hit the headlines worldwide in April when a Pakistani court sentenced Zafran to death by stoning, after ruling that she must have committed adultery.

For weeks, she has been in solitary confinement, nursing her new-born daughter and awaiting an appeal of her sentence at the federal Sharia court in Islamabad.

Asma Jahangir, a lawyer who founded the first all-woman law firm in Pakistan, talks to Martha about Zafran's case and about the so-called Hadood laws which are keeping hundreds of women like Zafran in jail.


Listen to the Item ( BBC Radio4)

Readers are requested to visit the following site to know more about Zafran BiBi :

http://www.mukto-mona.com/human_rights/zafran/

Moderator. ]

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Pakistan: First success of Rationalist protest in the case of Zafran Bi Bi

More than two thousand of our Rationalist friends and readers of  reacted immediately, when Rationalist International asked in to send letters to Pakistani President Musharraf, demanding his intervention to rescue the life of Zafran Bi Bi. The young woman, after being raped, had been condemned for "adultery" and sentenced to death by stoning by a Shariat court.

Our protest has moved mountains.

Death sentence to be reviewed

Pakistan's highest religious court has admitted Zafran's appeal for hearing and decided that the death sentence be reviewed.

26-year-old Zafran is awaiting the hearing, which will decide her fate, in a death-row cell in Kohat, a small town in northwestern Pakistan. Occasionally the only visitor allowed to see her is brought in by a jail nurse: her meantime one-year-old daughter, born in prison and the "corpus delicti" of the case. Zafran became pregnant after being repeatedly raped by her brother-in-law, who has neither been held responsible for "adultery" nor for rape.

Zafran is one of many women convicted under the Quran-based hudood law, which bans extramarital sexual contacts without making any difference between consensual and forced ones. "The illegitimate child is not disowned by her and therefore is proof for zina (sexual contact outside marriage). This left no option to the court but to impose the highest penalty", said Anwar Ali Khan, the judge who convicted Zafran to death by stoning. Even if the death sentence will be overruled in the next hearing, say women's rights advocates, under the dreaded hudood law, Zafran may have to expect at least a jail term of several years. - But the law may be changed!

Draconian Islamic adultery law may be changed

 

Reacting to the massive protest against the conviction of Zafran Bi Bi, the Council of Islamic Ideology, Pakistan's top religious body, has made a sensational statement. It announced a basic review of the draconian adultery law of the Shariat.

In its official statement, the Council informed that the hudood ordinance, enacted 23 years ago, was to be thoroughly studied to identify those parts, which were not in accordance with the Quranic teachings and the Sunnah traditions (traditions of prophet Mohammed). The Council has realized, explained its chairman M. Zaman in Lahore, that the hudood ordinance could have human errors.

The case against Zafran Bi Bi triggered wide protest in Pakistan also. There was an outcry in a section of the media against the judgement. Women's and Human Rights groups organized a huge demonstration in Islamabad, during which 30 persons have been temporarily arrested.

The fight has to continue!

The fight for Zafran Bi Bi's life and freedom has to continue! Please call upon the Pakistani President to use his high office to prevent Human Rights violations in his country. Demand freedom for Zafran Bi Bi and the abolishing of the inhuman Islamic hudood law. Remind President Musharraf that he has promised in his Address to the Nation of Pakistan on 12 January this year to free his country from the influence of religious fundamentalism!

 

President Musharraf's e-mail address is: CE@pak.gov.pk. Please send a copy of your letter to Campaign@rationalistinternational.net and mukto-mona-owner@yahoogroups.com

Courtesy : Rationalist International