Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said on Friday ruled out public hanging for rapists, saying that no law for the public hanging of rapists was in the offing.
In an informal conversation with journalists, she said that the government was considering several measures to prevent such incidents from taking place and ensuring justice for victims.
The human rights minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had rejected the proposal of any such law, citing international conventions that Pakistan is signatory to.
The change in stance comes days after the premier’s interview with a private TV channel, in which he had called for public hanging of rapists and said that habitual sex offenders should be physically or chemically castrated so that they could not commit such crimes in future. He had added, however, that the hanging of a rapist publicly might be opposed internationally as many countries carried out castration of sex abusers.
Meanwhile, the human rights minister also refuted reports suggesting that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had registered cases against journalists and rights activists under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), 2016.
In a series of tweets posted Friday, the minister said: “This was disturbing news so I checked and my information is that it’s incorrect. A private citizen has sent a complaint to FIA against around 12 journalists.
“FIA examines all complaints but no FIR has been registered and FIA can’t register a report under Peca without following the specified legal procedure,” the tweet added.
She urged anyone with “contrary evidence in terms of FIRs” to inform her so that she can follow up.
Mazari was responding to a tweet by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) which said it was “alarmed” by the reports of cases against journalists.
“We demand that the state refrain from such action and stop using the FIA to curb political dissent,” the commission said.
Meanwhile, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, while responding to Mazari’s tweet, called upon those who “raised a hue and cry without confirmation” to apologise to the government and to the nation.