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ACHR REVIEW [The weekly commentary and analysis of the Asian Centre for Human Rights

 [The weekly commentary and analysis of the Asian Centre for Human Rights
C-3/441-C, Janakpuri, New Delhi-110058, India
Tel/Fax:  +91-11-25620583, 25503624
Website: www.achrweb.org; Email: achr_review@achrweb.org

                                         Index: Review/80/2005
Embargoed for: 6 July 2005

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please find attached the latest issue of the ACHR REVIEW titled “Cultural
Courts: Where victims are guilty”. It is available on our website at:

Across South Asia, women are being victimised and condemned as guilty in
the name of Sharia, gotra and maintaining tradition and culture. The
alleged rape of Imrana by her father-in-law Ali Mohammad in Muzaffarnagar
district of Uttar Pradesh of India and the rape of Mukhtar Mai on the order
of jirga, village council, in Pakistan are not isolated events. Yet, the
response of the governments to the menace of injustices by “cultural
courts” can at best be described as knee-jerk.

The present initiative to codify the tribal customary laws in the North
East India is instructive as to how to deal with other personal/customary
laws in India. The codification of personal laws does not mean Uniform
Civil Code but to ensure that practices derogatory to the dignity of human
being especially women are renounced and that personal/ customary laws
respect the inalienable and inherent equality in dignity and rights to all
members of human family, the individual rights and freedoms and conform to
the mandate of the Constitution and State’s obligations under international
human rights law.

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With kind regards,

Yours sincerely

Suhas Chakma

Encl: a.a.



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