News from Pakistan’s shambolic legal system – the police charged a nine-month-old baby with attempted murder.
Musa was among five people identified in a police document known as a first information report (FIR) following disturbances in February in a slum area of Lahore when workers for a gas company came to try to disconnect houses that had not paid their bills.
According to the FIR, written by a now suspended assistant sub-inspector, Musa and his co-accused tried to kill the gas company workers and the policemen accompanying them by throwing stones.
The people living in the area maintain there was only ever a peaceful protest. “There were only women in the houses at daytime and they resisted this discontinuing of supply,” Yasin said. “Later we blocked the road and raised slogans against police.”
Lawyers say it is all too common for police to resort to collective punishment of entire families, often at the instigation of the complainant. “Most of the time people don’t really want justice at the hands of the courts,” said Sundas Hoorain, a lawyer who specialises in murder cases. “It is really all about taking revenge, and that means making the other party suffer as much as possible by putting whole families through hell.”
Kind of makes you appreciate the rule of law, don’t it.
The charging of toddlers is relatively rare, although there are examples of young children being ensnared in the country’s blasphemy laws, which have been much criticised by human rights groups.
That’s a sentence for the ages – “The charging of toddlers is relatively rare.” Well good, glad to hear it.