Pakistan: On 21st December 2013, a young Hindu, female school teacher named Sapna Rani, was kidnapped on her way home from work. The abduction of the 25 year old female caused great distress within her family, as well as in the wider Hindu community. This caused local Hindu community leaders to appeal to the government to take action and within two weeks Sapna was reunited with her family thanks to the fact that police investigators had been able to trace signals from both Sapna’s and the accused kidnapper’s phones which located the missing woman as being in the kidnapper’s house.
On the day of the kidnapping, Sapna Rani was returning home from her work, like she did every day at around 3pm. She taught at a private school in Peshawar. She had been teaching there for 4 years as well as also tutoring outside of class hours. However, on this particular day, Sapna Rani never made it home.
With the support of human rights organisations in Pakistan, her family was able to bring the case to the Peshwari High Court. After being rescued, Sapna Rani told the court that on the day of the abduction a car had stopped her on her walk home and that the accused, Zahid Nawaz, had smothered her with a cloth which was drenched in a liquid that can be assumed as being toxic as it caused her to fall unconscious.
According to our partner organisation, Human Rights Focus Pakistan who works on the ground in Pakistan, we have received great news that the Peshawari High Court have passed orders to arrest and penalize the culprit, Zahid Nawaz, who unluckily escaped before the police reached his house.
Even though the perpetrator is still to be captured, this case deserves to be highlighted. Suppression and discrimination of minorities in Pakistan is one of the country’s major human rights issues and reports of violations against people belonging to minorities rarely make it to the media and even more rarely to the courts. Global Human Rights Defense embraces the court’s decision and hopes that it will serve as a precedent for future cases and as a step towards justice and equality in Pakistan.