Committee Against Torture: Pakistan

CAT session 060 (2017)

(1 June 2017, CAT/C/PAK/CO/1, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 30, 31, 38 and 39)

“While noting the adoption of the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill), 2016 and the Anti-Honour Killing Law (Criminal Amendment Bill) and the State party’s commitment to addressing those crimes, the Committee is concerned about the reportedly high level of violence against women in the State party, which includes murder, rape, acid crimes, kidnappings, domestic violence and “honour killings”. It is also concerned about the extremely low conviction rates for those crimes, and at reports that parallel justice systems (known as panchayats or jirgas), have sentenced women to violent punishment or even death, including stoning, and have provided lenient punishments for perpetrators of “honour crimes” and in other cases of serious gender-based violence (arts. 2, 14 and 16).

“The Committee urges the State party to:

(c) Further strengthen its efforts to invalidate and ensure that State officials do not recognize or carry out judgments of parallel justice mechanisms or alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as panchayats or jirgas, that exculpate perpetrators of crimes committed in the name of “honour”, that call for women to be subject to corporal punishment, or that are otherwise inconsistent with the State party’s obligations under the Convention”

“While noting the information provided by the State party’s delegation that they are not implemented in practice, the Committee is concerned that provisions in the State party’s laws allow for the imposition of corporal punishment, including whipping, amputation and stoning (art. 16).

“The State party should take the necessary legislative measures to eradicate and explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in all settings, as they amount to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in violation of the Convention.”

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