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Mazari stresses implementation of law in child labour, abuse cases

By Our Correspondent
October 30, 2020

Rawalpindi : The Additional District and Sessions Judge (ASJ), Rawalpindi Ijaz Asif has adjourned further hearing of Zohra Shah torture case till November 7, 2020 here on Thursday.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari was also present here in court in Judicial Complex, Rawalpindi on the occasion. Advocate Jaweria Rehman Faisal the lawyer of victim party has briefed her on the Zohra Shah case. Minister came in court to show solidarity with the parents of victim girl.

After court proceeding, Human Rights Minister during media talk said the problem was not in the law but its implementation in the rampant child abuse cases across the country.

Mazari said the government has already enacted laws on child labour and that kids under the age of 14 cannot be employed for domestic work. She said that according to Employment of Children Act 1991, we have banned employment of domestic and other labours in federal capital, Islamabad. “I wish to implement this act in the whole country,” she said.

"The Zohra Shah torture and murder case is a very important one for us. It's a test case," she said.

Noting that her goal was to support and ensure there was justice in the case, she said there punishment should be meted out according to the law.

Mazari added that complaints regarding missing kids and child abuse incidents can be lodged on the Zainab Alert app.

Zohra Shah, an eight-year-old domestic help also known as Zahra Shah in international media reports, was tortured to death in Rawalpindi by her employers back in May 2020 after she accidentally freed two expensive parrots.

A man, identified as Hassan Siddiqui and who worked in buying and selling exotic birds, had hired little Zohra to look after his children. According to police she was cleaning the cage when she inadvertently let the two parrots free.

Hassan and his wife got infuriated and brutally beat the maid," a police spokesperson said at the time, adding that Siddiqui confessed that he and his wife thrashed the girl in a fit of anger.

It was Siddiqui who had brought Zohra to the hospital but he vanished from the scene before he could be linked to her. The eight-year-old, however, succumbed to her injuries a day later. Both accused involved in this case are in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, for over four months.

On May 30, 2020 Rawat Police Station registered Zohra Shah torture case and arrested both accused.