Monday, 1 September 2008

Five Women Buried Alive In Pakistan.

"It was shocking to see Senator Israrullah Zehri from Balochistan informing the Senate on Friday that the killing or burial of women alive for ‘honour’ is a tribal tradition and should not be portrayed negatively. Responding to Senator Yasmeen Shah’s statement on reports of five women being buried alive in Balochistan in the name of honour, Zehri asked members not to politicise the issue, as it was a matter of safeguarding the tribal traditions."

The Asian Human Rights Commission has been informed from a remote area of the province of Baloutchistan that five women were buried alive there, notably by the youngest brother of Sadiq Umrani, Minister for the province and well-known leader of the Pakistan People's Party, the party in power. Further, the police have still not arrested the guilty parties and this, more than a month after the events.

Details of the case.

The Umrani tribe is concentrated mainly in the districts of Jarabad and Naseerabad of the Baloutchistan province, around 300 kilometres from the town of Quetta, the capital of the province. Sadiq Umrani, the province's Minister for Housing and Construction, was elected to the Baloutchistan Assembly during the elections of February 18th 2008 for the constituency of Dera Marad Jamzali district of Naseerabad.

The burial alive of the women took place in a remote village, Baba Kot, 80 kilometres from the town of Usta Mohammad, in the Jafferabad district. It is thought to be due to the influence of the minister and his brother that the media has not reported these facts.

Reportedly, these five women are Fatima, wife of Umeed Ali Umrani, Jannat Bibi, wife of Qaiser Khan, Fauzia, daughter of Ata Mohammad Umrani, and two other girls, who were 16 and 18 years old. They were at the home of Mr Chandio in the village of Baba Kot, and had to leave for the civil court of Usta Mohammad (in the Jaffarabad district) where three of these girls were to marry men of their choice. Their decision to marry at the civil court stemmed from several days of discussion with elders of the tribe who refused to grant them the right to marry. The strong control of the tribal leaders in that region explains why the names of the two youngest victims are not known.

When the news of their plans became known, Abdul Sattar Umrani, a brother of the minister, arrived with at least six people and threatened them with a gun. They were taken in a Land Cruiser jeep, registered in the Baloutchistan province, to another remote area, Nau Abadi, near Baba Kot. Once in the desert area of nau Abadi, Abdul Sattar Umrani and his six companions made the three youngest girls get out of the jeep and beat them up before shooting them. The girls were seriously wounded but still alive. Sattar Umrani and his accomplices threw them into a deep pit, which they began to refill with earth and rocks. The two older women were Fauzia's aunt and the mother of one of the minors. When they protested and tried to stop the burial of the still living minors, the attackers were so angry that they threw them into the pit and buried them alive too. After completing the burial, they fired several shots into the air to stop anyone coming near.

The minors were students and were pursuing their studies in the 10th and 12th years. They were punished for trying to decide for themselves about marriage.

One month later, the police have still not registered the case and it is difficult to obtain more detailed information. The minister for the province is so powerful that the police are reluctant to collect details of the murder. When the Asian Human Rights Commission contacted Sadiq Umrani, the minister for the province, he confirmed the facts, saying only that three women had been killed by strangers. He denied all involvement on his part or of his brother in the crime. He just said that the police wouldn't give any information about the case, as if that might implicate them, if they did. In addition, officials from two different police forces have confirmed the facts and explained that no one has given them any more information. Also, as they cannot find the pit where the victims are buried, it is difficult for them to register the case. Members of the victims' families have since left the area and no one knows where they are.

Abdul Sattar Umrani, the alleged guilty party and his brother, the minster for the province, were already implicated in the murder of three people, one of them a young woman, in January 2006. In that case, Mohammas Aslam, a student, was on his way in a taxi to the civil court, with his girlfriend, to get married. The guilty parties stopped them at Manjo Shori, sub-district of Tumboo district of Naseerabad, and shot the three people, the taxi driver, Jabal Aidee, being one of the victims. The police were unable to open a murder investigation for five months, until the intervention of Iftekhar Choudhry, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and speaker at the Senate. But only one person was arrested and the main culprit and leader, Abdul Sattar Umrani, was not charged.

Additional information.

Every year in Pakistan, hundreds of women, of all ages and from all regions of the country, are killed in the name of honour. Most of the crimes go unpunished. The lives of millions of women in Pakistan are subject to traditions which involve extreme isolation and submission to men who use violence to impose ownership control on them. Most of the women stoically accept this male control over their bodies, their speech and their behaviour as being an aspect of their, "destiny," but the taking up of positions in the media, working for organisations for women's rights and a greater mobility has led to awareness of women's rights in these isolated women.

But while women are claiming their rights or simply trying to claim them, they often have to face more repression and punishment: the number of honour crimes has risen in parallel with the development of awareness of women's rights. The indifference of the state, discriminatory laws and the sexist views of most police officers and the law, assures immunity for those guilty of crimes of honour. It is ironic that women who have such a low status in society and no rights in the family should become the focus on which is concentrated the false and primitive views of family honour, which refuses to take into consideration their hopes and preferences in the question of marriage. (Honour Killings in Pakistan, by Neshey Najam)

At the root of the Pashtun and Baluchi tribal traditions, honour murders are based on the twin conceptions of honour and the merchandising of women. Women are married against a dowry paid the the father of the husband. There is no conception of girls marrying according to their free choice and if they do, they are killed in the name of honour.

To add your name to the call for an inquiry into the murder of the five women, click here:

Asian Human Rights Commission

Enfants Kidnappés 01/09/08: Denise Pipitone - abducted four years ago today.

It's four years.

September 1st 2004

It's the morning of September 1st 2004 in Sicily, in Mazara del Vallo to be exact. The holidays are drawing to a close under the heat of the Sicilian sun and Denise, aged three and a half, is playing outside with her cousins, while her mother, Piera, is on a professional training course, leaving the little girl in the care of her grandmother.

Late morning, "Nonna," calls the children to eat. The cousins go running while Denise follows them, walking, and carrying on quietly with her games.

But Denise never arrives at the lunch table.

She has just been kidnapped.

There are anniversaries that we would wish never to have to celebrate.

There are cursed days, whose recurrence in the calender only crushes you a little more each time.

Today, September 1st, 2008, it is exactly four years.

4 years since Denise Pipitone disappeared, abducted right outside her house in Mazara del Vallo, in Sicily.

4 long years of anxious waiting, of disappointed hopes, of doubts, of sleepless nights, of inability to understand, of tears, of anger, for her family, for her mother.

4 years of nightmares for Piera, where her mind could not stop imagining the worst horrors that a human being is capable of, where time going by, second by second, makes her heart fluctuate between despair, the worst fear, then finally, this hope, unrealistic to be sure, which brings her back up and which becomes an objective and her only reason for living, if she wants to escape from madness.

Piera put on this hope like a coat, armed herself with courage and every day took up her struggle again so that her daughter's face and her daughter's name was not added to the list of the forgotten.

She created an association (Ass. To find Denise Onlus); with her lawyer, she set up a legal project to propose a reform to the archaic law for the protection of minors in Italy: in effect, there was a, "legal gap," concerning the abduction of children not followed by ransom. Abduction was then given no more consideration than the theft of an orange.

She is also a member of an Italian media association, which set up the Charter of Trévise: "The journalists of the Italian press and television adopted a voluntary code of conduct, the Charter of Trévise of November 5th 1990, which obliges them to maintain the anonymity of children charged with or victims of crime by not publishing details which, even indirectly, might lead to their being identified and in the violation of child protection as someone may be upset by publicity of which she was the object, including association with events which were not constituents of offences. (suicides, issues of adoption and family placement) Furthermore, in cases where personal details and photographs are necessary (for example kidnapping or disappearance of children) the Charter invites journalists to obtain the prior consent of parents and the judge responsible for guardianship orders."

But every year, when the holidays gently draw to an end beneath the heat of the Sicilian sun, Piera's heart becomes heavy, and she thinks, as she often does, of Denise's angelic face, of her childish little laugh, of their loving moments. She tries to imagine her daughter, now aged 7 and a half years; she must have changed a lot.

And she wonders, how much longer...

And she cries for her dreadful and unbearable loss.

And she relives with anguish and confusion the day when this tragedy began, the terrible day of Denise's disappearance.

It was September 1st 2004...Exactly 4 years ago.

To find out more about Denise please visit these sites :


SOS Madeleine McCann: Amaral's book confirmed in Italian and Dutch.

"Maddie: The Truth of The Lie," confirmed in Italian and Dutch.

According to a manager at the Portuguese publisher, "Guerra e Paz," the book by Gonçalo Amaral, former head of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, is going to be published in Italian and in Dutch.

"Maddie: The Truth of The Lie," is a description of the events and witness statements in the Madeleine McCann case.

"This is not my personal conviction, it is about all the work of a team of Portuguese police officers and English police officers and duly monitored by the Public Ministry," states the former coordinator of the PJ's Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC) about his book.

A best seller in Portugal, "Maddie: The Truth of the Lie," is presented in Spain this week. A French version is confirmed while the English translation is only waiting for a release date to be announced, in spite of the veritable, "embargo," imposed by the McCanns.

In Spain with Esquilo


During the first two weeks in September, the Spanish edition, "MADDIE, LA VERDAD DE LA MENTIRA, published by Esquilo - Publishing and Multimedia, will be presented in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and in Galicia. The publisher has already made a blog available on the internet with information about the book:


Enfants Kidnappés 01/09/08: Rachael Oldfield's statement.

01 septembre 2008

Interview with Rachael Mariamma Jean Mampilly Oldfield.

On the subject we note that.

Being a British citizen and not understanding the Portuguese language, in spoken or written form, the undersigned was accompanied by a sworn translator: Filipa M.C.S. The interview begins at 7.20pm on May 4th 2007.

Since last Saturday, April 28th 2007, she has been on holiday in Portugal at the Ocean Club tourist complex in Praia da Luz, accompanied by her husband Matthew Oldfield. They traveled from London to Faro airport with their daughter ******, aged 19 months. This trip was organised for a group of nine adults and eight children. Her husband and her daughter are part of the group:

  • The couple, Russell O'Brien and Jane Michelle Tanner, with their daughters, **** aged three and a half and **** aged 19 months.
  • David and Fiona Payne with their daughters *** aged three years and ***** aged 12 months.
  • Gerald (Gerry) McCann and Kate MCann with their twins, Sean and Amelie, aged 26 months and Madeleine aged 4 years.

Also in their group is Diane Webster, Fiona Payne's mother.

The holiday was organised because the men in the group are all doctors apart from Fiona Payne and Kate McCann who worked together for a long time. These shared holidays are usually organised for the whole group, although for the last holiday, last September, Gerry McCann and Kate McCann did not go to Greece with the group.

The interviewee has known the couple, Gerry and Kate, since 2003. Her husband, Matthew, knew them from before. On arrival at the airport, they were transported in a, "Mark Warner," company bus. There were other people on the bus apart from the group. They were put up at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz.

The couples had their own, individual apartments, at the same complex, with their respective children. Since their arrival until yesterday evening, when Madeleine disappeared, the days have all been the same.

After breakfast, taken between 8 and 9 am in the Millennium restaurant, she takes her daughter to the Kids Club, about 10 minutes walk from the apartment. The other couples do exactly the same thing, with the exception of Gerry and Kate McCann who have breakfast in their apartment. The interviewee's daughter goes to a room at the Kids Club which is close to the, "TAPAS," restaurant. Madeleine goes to another room, situated near the club's reception, because she is older.

After dropping her daughter off, the interviewee had a tennis lesson between 11 and 12 o'clock. Then she went back to the Kids Club to pick up her daughter, ******, for lunch. She made ******'s lunch and then they went to Russell O'Brien or David Payne's apartment, where they all ate together. Only Gerry and Kate McCann had lunch in their apartment with the twins and Madeleine. The interviewee has the impression that the McCann family had one lunch on the beach.

All members of the group did their shopping at the only supermarket near the complex, the "Baptiste."
She never saw any suspicious attention, or ever had suspicions about anybody she came across, either in their independent activities or in the group with their children.

Her relationship with the couple, Gerry and Kate, is one of good friendship and they meet up occasionally at celebrations, weddings and birthdays.

Concerning Madeleine, she is a happy child, good natured and full of energy. She considers it impossible that a stranger could take her without her shouting or crying. She is a smart child who knows right from wrong.


They had the habit of going to eat every evening at the,"TAPAS," restaurant which is about 50 metres from the apartments as the crow flies but 60 or 70 metres round the building to the back entrance.

Yesterday, at around 8.45pm, like every evening, they joined the rest of the group to eat at the,"tapas," restaurant. Her husband Matthew, went to look for David Payne and Fiona Payne. At around 9pm, the couple arrived two or three minutes after Matthew. He had been to check the children's bedrooms, his own apartment where his daughter was sleeping but also that of the twins and Madeleine. He listened at both closed shutters and didn't hear any noise. He also checked to see if there was any noise in Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner's apartment. He said that he hadn't heard any noise.

After placing their orders, at around 9.15pm, Gerry McCann went to check, only his apartment. He was held up for nearly 10 minutes because, he said, he had been chatting with Jes about tennis. Today there was a tournament which they both had to compete in. During Gerry's absence, the waiters started to bring the food. Jane was also absent to check her apartment. Gerry returned shortly after Jane.

Between the starters and the main course, at around 9.30pm, her husband Matthew Oldfield and Russell O'Brien both went to check on the children. Kate was also planning to go and see the children, but they told her it was no trouble, that they would go and check. Kate, therefore, stayed at the restaurant. Four or five minutes later the interviewee's husband came back after having checked his apartment. He also checked the one where Madeleine was. He went in through the patio door (the couple Gerry and Kate McCann left this door accessible for everyone during dinner) The said patio door gives access to the apartment's lounge where two doors open into the respective bedrooms.

Her husband went into the main room and, "hung about," to listen for any noise from the bedroom where the children were sleeping. He didn't switch any lights on. He could see the twins in their beds. The bedroom door was half-open. It was only later that he realised this was strange. At the time, he gave no importance to the fact. The interviewee's husband came back to the restaurant and said that everything was fine, that he hadn't heard any noise. He also said that Russell O'Brien was staying withhis daughter, ****, who was crying.

They had the main course and Jane went off to replace Russell so that he could come and eat. The interviewee does not know exactly when Russell arrived.

At around 10pm, Kate McCann went on her own to check her children. She came back to the restaurant in tears and told us that Madeleine had disappeared. We all got up then and went with her to see. The surrounding area was combed after having checked that Madeleine was not hiding in the apartment. The twins carried on sleeping. They didn't move.

The interviewee has nothing else to add. After reading with the interpreter, who explains to her, she goes on and signs.

The interviewee remembers that Kate said the window at the front of the apartment was open, the shutters raised. The couple had never opened the shutters during their stay.