It replaced parts of the British-era Pakistan Penal Code , adding new criminal offences of adultery and fornication , and new punishments of whipping , amputation , and stoning to death. The Hudood Law was intended to implement Shari'a law or bring Pakistani law into "conformity with the injunctions of Islam", by enforcing punishments mentioned in the Quran and sunnah for zina extramarital sex ,  qazf false accusation of zina , theft, and consumption of alcohol. The system provided for two kinds of offences — hadd and tazir — with different punishments to go with them. Hadd offences fixed punishment require a higher standard of proof than tazir discretionary punishment and their punishments are more severe.
|Published (Last):||9 June 2007|
|PDF File Size:||13.26 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||10.83 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. 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 The Hudood Ordinances are fundamentally flawed and must be repealed in their entirety. Human Rights Watch said that Pakistan should ensure that it complies 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 of 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 Order , which 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 jabr , became religious offenses, subject to different evidentiary standards 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. 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 in , subject 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 March , and 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.
Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people in 90 countries worldwide, spotlighting abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice.
Get updates on human rights issues from around the globe. Join our movement today. Donate Now. Your tax deductible gift can help stop human rights violations and save lives around the world. More Reading. March 2, Commentary. May 27, Report. April 28, Report. Protecting Rights, Saving Lives Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people in 90 countries worldwide, spotlighting abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice.
Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. 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 repealed in their entirety.
Pakistan: Proposed Reforms to Hudood Laws Fall Short
The most controversial of these are the two laws pertaining to sexual offences, i. These laws created six distinct categories of sexual offences and assigned punishments for each:. The introduction of these laws resulted in the offences of rape and adultery in the Pakistan Penal Code PPC to be repealed as they were substituted by these offences. The primary distinction between the hadd and tazir offenses is that the hadd offences require a higher standard of proof than is needed in tazir as the Islamic punishments are more severe. For example, under the Zina Ordinance, zina was liable to a hadd penalty if the accused confessed before the trial court or if there were four adult Muslim male witnesses who met an Islamic test of probity, i.