Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Press release by War Against Rape on student nurse at JPMC, Karachi.

War Against Rape (WAR), Karachi
Gang-rape of Nursing Student at JPMC, Karachi

19 July, 2010, Karachi: War Against Rape is outraged at the gang-rape of a Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre’s nursing student on July 13, 2010, at the hospital by a group of doctors, one of whom is an ex- medico-legal officer.
WAR sees this incident as an act of sheer barbarism where the accused in order to cover their tracks attempted to take the life of the survivor by pushing her off the building, due to which she suffered serious injuries.  The fact that the main accused is an ex-medico-legal officer is a matter of deep concern. The audacity, with which the perpetrators committed this act inside the hospital, brings to light the utter failure of monitoring systems and the failure to provide a safe working environment to women.
Reports of sexual assault of nursing students in hospitals by senior doctors are made every year across Pakistan. Cases of sexual harassment are even more common in these settings. They typically demonstrate the abuse of power by those in influential positions by committing human rights violations apparently without fear of accountability and punishment.  The survivor and her family in this case have recently expressed that they are under immense pressure to withdraw charges. WAR demands that the Government ensures complete protection for the survivor and her family, conduct an impartial investigation, and not only arrest the remaining perpetrators of this heinous crime, but also take the case to its logical end.
WAR also urges the Government, especially the Social Welfare and Women’s Development departments to take every measure for the quick recovery of the survivor and her family and to make sincere efforts for their rehabilitation.
WAR  also demands that policies are put in place that prescribe penalties for those abusing authority by harassing students and other staff members. The Government, especially the Health Department, should conduct an inquiry into existing power structures in hospital settings that cause a perpetuation of such crimes,  what kind of mechanisms are there for those being harassed or assaulted to report and what actions have been taken so far to stem out this problem.

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