Hudood Ordinance

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The Hudood Ordinance (Urdu: حدود مسودہ) (also spelled Hudud, Hadud, Hudud; singular form is Hadh or hadd) is a law in Pakistan that was enacted in 1979 as part of then military ruler Zia-ul-Haq's "Sharization" or "Islamization" process. It replaced parts of the secular, British-era Pakistan Penal Code, adding new criminal offenses of adultery and fornication, and new punishments of whipping, amputation, and stoning to death.[1][2] After much controversy and criticism parts of the law were extensively revised in 2006 by the Women's Protection Bill.

The Hudood Law was intended to implement Shari'a law or bring Pakistani law into "conformity with the injunctions of Islam", by enforcing punishments mentioned in the Quran and sunnah for Zina (extramarital sex),[3] Qazf (false accusation of zina), theft, and consumption of alcohol. The system provided for two kinds of offenses -- hadd and tazir—with different punishments to go with them. Hadd offences (fixed punishment) require a higher standard of proof than tazir (discretionary punishment) and their punishments are more severe.[4]

The zina provisions of the law were particularly controversial[5] and critics alleged that there were "hundreds of incidents where a woman subjected to rape, or even gang rape, was eventually accused of Zina" and incarcerated.[6] Supporters defended the Ordinance's punishments as ordained by God and the law as the victim of "extremely unjust propaganda" in the media.[7]

Ordinances[edit]

The ordinances follow the classical mainly Hanafi jurisprudence doctrine. One non-classical feature is that Hadd punishments can only be carried out after an appeal to the Federal Shariat Court has failed.[8] The Federal Shariat Court, which has "exclusive jurisdiction" to examine whether or not a law is in accordance with the injunctions of Islam, was created along with the Ordinances.[9]

Under the ordinances, tazir punishments often involve flogging.[8]

Offences Against Property (theft) ordinance[edit]

Officially known as "The Offences Against Property (Enforcement Of Hudood) Ordinance (VI of 1979)."

  • Offences Against Property liable to hadd must be
    • theft of something nisab level of value, i.e. property worth more than 4.457 grams of gold (about USD $170 as of 18 November 2014).
    • evidence must be from a confession by the accused, or at least two Muslim adult male witnesses who are 'tazkiyah-al-shuhood', (truthful and non-sinners).[10]
  • Punishment for "theft liable to hadd";
    • first offense: "amputation of his right hand from the joint of the wrist";
    • second offense: "amputation of his left foot up to the ankle";
    • third offense: imprisonment for life;[10]
  • Theft liable to Tazir: Whoever commits theft, which, is not liable to 'hadd' or
    • for which there is no confession or evidence provided by two qualifying Muslim adult male witnesses, or
    • for which 'hadd' may not be imposed or enforced under this Ordinance;
  • Punishment for theft liable to Tazir: is stipulated in the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).[10]

For robbery liable to hadd, the right hand of the offender and his left foot should be amputated by a surgeon.[11]

Zina (extramarital) Ordinance[edit]

Officially known as "The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance (VII of 1979)" refers to fornication, adultery and zina bil jabbar (rape). The most controversial of the four ordinances,[5] it has four distinct categories of sexual offences and assigned punishments for each:

  • zina liable to hadd; punishable by
    • stoning to death for the adulterer
    • public whipping of 100 lashes for a fornicator[4]
  • zina liable to tazir; punishable by
    • imprisonment for up to ten years [4]
  • zina-bil-jabr liable to hadd;
  • zina-bil-jabr liable to tazir;[4]

Under hadd, eye-witnesses evidence of the act of penetration by "at least four Muslim adult male witnesses", about whom "the court is satisfied", that "they are truthful persons and abstain from major sins (kabair)" (tazkiyah al-shuhood). Because of this stringent standard, no accused has ever been found guilty and stoned to death in Pakistan.[12] Punishments until now were awarded under the Tazir provision of the Hudood Ordinance.

The 2006 Act has now deleted zina bil jabbar from the Hudood Ordinance[13] and inserted sections 375 and 376 for Rape and Punishment respectively in the Pakistan Penal Code to replace it.[13]

Qazf (false accusation of fornication or adultery) Ordinance[edit]

Officially known as: "The Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance of 1979". It described the offence of false accusation of Zina (fornication and adultery) either written, verbal or "by visible representations", with intent to cause harm, and without producing four witnesses in support of the accusation before the Court, or who "according to the finding of the Court", a witness has given false evidence of the commission of zina or rape, or when a complainant has made a false accusation of rape;[14]

  • Proof of "qazf liable to hadd" includes the accused confesses to it in court, the accused committing qazf in court, or if two Muslim adult male witnesses, (other than the victim of the qazf) testify that the defendant committed qazf. (If the accused is a non-Muslim, the witnesses may be non-Muslims.)[14]
  • Punishment of "qazf liable to hadd" will be a whipping numbering 80 stripes.[14]
  • "Qazf liable to Tazir" applies whenever
    • proof in any of the forms mentioned above is not available,
    • or when the perp has committed 'qazf' against any of his descendants,
    • or when the victim of qazf has died during the "pendency of the proceedings";[14]
  • punishment of "qazf liable to tazir" shall be imprisonment for up to two years, a whipping of up to 40 stripes, and may also include a fine.[14]

Prohibition (alcohol) Order[edit]

Officially known as: "The Prohibition (Enforcement of Had) Order of 1979", described the offence of producing, importing, selling, owning, possessing or consuming alcohol.[15]

  • Producing, bottling, selling alcohol is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years, or flogging of up to 30 stripes, and may also be fined.[15]
  • Owning or possessing is punishable by imprisonment of up to two years, or flogging of up to 30 stripes, and may also be fined.[15]
  • drinkers liable to hadd are adult Muslims who "takes intoxicating liquor by mouth" if they confess to drinking or evidence is given by "two Muslim adult male witness" of good character.[16]
    • They "shall be punished" with flogging of "eighty stripes".
  • drinkers liable to tazir include
    • non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan who have been drinking (unless it is "part of a ceremony prescribed by his religion"):
    • non-Muslim, non-citizens of Pakistan, who have been drinking in a public place;
    • Muslims for whom "the offence stands proved by the evidence on the record" but not by hadd evidence of two Muslim witnesses, etc.[15]
    • these drinkers shall be punished by imprisonment of up to three years, flogging of up to 30 stripes, or both.[15]
  • owning or possessing heroin, cocaine, opium or coca leaf is also punishable with imprisonment, flogging and fines.[15]

Whipping Ordinance[edit]

"The Execution of the Punishment of Whipping Ordinance of 1979" was developed to regulate the punishment of whipping/flogging.

It specifies that whips shall be made of leather, or a cane or a branch of a tree, be no longer than 1.22 meters and no thicker than 1.25 cm. Convict shall be medically examined before flogging to determine if the flogging should be "applied in such manner and with such intervals" that it does not kill the offender being flogged. Flogging may be postponed if the offender is ill, pregnant, or if the weather is too cold, etc. Stripes shall not be applied to "the head, face, stomach or chest or the delicate parts of the body of the convict," and should not lacerate the skin of the convict.[17]

Controversy and revision[edit]

Several Pakistani government appointed commissions have recommended the ordinance's repeal (such as the National Commission for the Status of Women in 2003, the Special Committee to Review the Hudood Ordinances, 1979, Commission of Inquiry for Women).[18][19][20] Critics of the law alleged that while no one had actually been executed by stoning or had their hand or foot amputated in punishment as a result of the law,[21] the ordinance made it exceptionally difficult and dangerous to prove an allegation of rape. In 1979, before the ordinances went into effect there were 70 women held in Pakistani prisons. By 1988, there were 6000.[22] A 2003 report by the National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) estimated "80% of women" were incarcerated because "they had failed to prove rape charges and were consequently convicted of adultery."[23][24][25][26] According to legal scholar Martin Lau

While it was easy to file a case against a woman accusing her of adultery, the Zina Ordinance made it very difficult for a woman to obtain bail pending trial. Worse, in actual practice, the vast majority of accused women were found guilty by the trial court only to be acquitted on appeal to the Federal Shariat Court. By then they had spent many years in jail, were ostracized by their families, and had become social outcasts.[1]

A woman alleging rape was required to provide four adult male eye witnesses of good standing (tazkiyah-al-shuhood) to "the act of penetration". Failure to find such proof of the rape may place her at risk of prosecution for another hudood ordinance, qazf for accusing an innocent man of adultery. Qazf does not require such strong evidence.[27] In principal, the failure to find such proof of the rape does not place the woman herself at risk of prosecution. According to Mufti Taqi Usmani, who was instrumental in the creation of the ordinances:

If anyone says that she was punished because of Qazaf (false accusation of rape) then Qazaf Ordinance, Clause no. 3, Exemption no. 2 clearly states that if someone approaches the legal authorities with a rape complaint, she cannot be punished in case she is unable to present four witnesses. No court of law can be in its right mind to award such a punishment.[28]

However, in practice, these safeguards have not always worked.[29][30]

Stories of suffering by women who claimed to have been raped appeared in the press in the years following the passing of the Hudood Ordinance. One case that stirred protests from Pakistani activists and lawyers along with international human rights organizations was that of Safia Bibi, an unmarried blind woman from the northwest frontier who was prosecuted for zina because of her illegitimate pregnancy. Her rapist was acquitted. The appeal judgment of the Federal Shariah Court cleared the girl of the accusation of zina.[31]

The evidence of guilt was there for all to see: a newborn baby in the arms of its mother, a village woman named Zafran Bibi. Her crime: she had been raped. Her sentence: death by stoning. Now Ms. Zafran Bibi, who is about 26, is in solitary confinement in a death-row cell.

Thumping a fat red statute book, the white-bearded judge who convicted her, Anwar Ali Khan, said he had simply followed the letter of the Qoran-based law, known as hudood, that mandates punishments.

"The illegitimate child is not disowned by her and therefore is proof of zina," he said, referring to laws that forbid any sexual contact outside marriage. Furthermore, he said, in accusing her brother-in-law of raping her, Ms. Zafran had confessed to her crime. [32]

Another scenario for some of the accusations of adultery leading to imprisonment was

A triple talaq 26 is pronounced. The woman returns to her parental home. She goes through her period of iddat.' After a while the family arranges another match and she gets married. The husband then claims that sans the confirmation of divorce by the local authorities the marriage is not over and launches a zina prosecution. It is necessary to delete this definition [of a valid marriage] to shut this door.[33][34]

A number of international and Pakistani human rights organizations argue that Hudood Ordinance goes beyond what is required by sharia.[35] They are opposed by conservative religious parties (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA)), who accuse them of departing from Islamic values.

Women's Protection Bill[edit]

Attention to revise Hudood Ordinance was given by a number of government appointed commissions, a televised several weeks-long-televised debate on the subject of "No debate on Hudood Allah (Allah's laws as prescribed in Quran and Sunnah)-is the Hudood Ordinance (Man's interpretation of Allah's law) Islamic?" on Geo television channel, and a 2005 University of Karachi Dept of Public Administration workshop.[36]

In 2006, then President Pervez Musharraf again proposed reform of the ordinance.[37] On November 15, 2006, the "Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act" was passed in the National Assembly, allowing rape to be prosecutable under civil law. The bill was ratified by the Senate on 23 November 2006,[38] and became law after President Musharraf signed it on 1 December 2006.[39]

The bill

  • returns a number of offenses from the Zina Ordinance to the Pakistan Penal Code, where they had been before 1979;
    • since rape, unlike zina and qazf, is not mentioned in the Quran, rape is now excluded from Islamic criminal law.
  • reformulates and redefines the offenses of zina and qazf (the wrongful accusation of zina);
    • no complaint of adultery or rape can be converted into one of fornication;
  • creates an entirely new set of procedures governing the prosecution of the offenses of adultery and fornication.[40]
    • adds to the Pakistan Penal Code a new offense of false accusation of fornication, so that an accusation of fornication runs the risk of a lengthy prison sentence if his complaint does not result in a conviction;
    • adultery is the only offense retained in the Zina Ordinance. A complaint of adultery must be made to a judge with at least four witnesses testifying under oath that they witnessed the act of penetration.[41]

The reforms have come under considerable opposition from Islamist groups in Pakistan, who insist that law should stay following the sharia. Other legal experts have claimed that the original law was not so unbalanced as its opponents claimed or that the reforms will be impossible to enforce.[42]

Human rights groups and activists in Pakistan have also criticized the bill, with one group complaining: "The so-called Women's Protection Bill is a farcical attempt at making the Hudood Ordinance palatable".[43] The concern is that thousands of rapes go unreported as victims fear that they would be treated as criminals.[44] In contrast Martin Lau has said that the Act "cannot be dismissed as a mere window dressing undertaken to satisfy a Western audience."[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1296
  2. ^ Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1292
  3. ^ The Offence of Zina (Enforcement Of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979: English text of the law
  4. ^ a b c d "The Hudood Ordinances". Dawn.com. InpaperMagazine. May 7, 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1302
  6. ^ NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN'S REPORT ON HUDOOD ORDINANCES 1979
  7. ^ Usmani, Mohammad Taqi. "The Reality of ‘Women Protection Bill’". Hudood Ordinance. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2014. "Now arises the question why is there so much insistence on abolishing the shara’i punishment for Zina bil Jabr? The reason for this is an extremely unjust propaganda which certain circles are busily spreading ever since the Hudood ordinance has been implemented." 
  8. ^ a b Peters, Rudolph (2005). Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from the Sixteenth .... Cambridge University Press. p. 156. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1294
  10. ^ a b c "The Offences Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance". refworld. 10 February 1979. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Michael Heng Siam-Heng, Ten Chin Liew (2010). State and Secularism: Perspectives from Asia§General Zia-ul-Haq and Patronage of Islamism. Singapore: World Scientific. p. 360. ISBN 9789814282383. 
  12. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about Stoning". Retrieved 18 November 2014. "Stoning to death has been introduced as a legal form of punishment for the "adultery of married persons" (zina al-mohsena) in Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria (about one-third of the 36 states), Pakistan, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates. Some of these countries have since repealed the law of stoning. While the penalty has never been carried out in Nigeria, or by the state in either Pakistan or Iraq, - See more at: http://www.violenceisnotourculture.org/faq_stoning#sthash.JS3ZXKjM.dpuf" 
  13. ^ a b "The Offence of Zina (Enforcement Of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979.". pakistani.org. (updated 2006). Retrieved 19 November 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ a b c d e "THE OFFENCE OF QAZF (ENFORCEMENT OF HADD) ORDINANCE (VIII OF 1979)". refworld. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f "The Prohibition (Enforcement Of Hadd) Order, 1979. President's Order No. 4 of 1979". pakistan.org. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  16. ^ Haider, Murtaza (Oct 29, 2014). "Alcohol consumption in Pakistan: Don't mix sin with crime". Dawn.com. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Execution Of The Punishment Of Whipping Ordinance, 1979". Legal Advice PK. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  18. ^ See MUHAMMAD KHALUD MASUD, HUDOOD ORDINANCE 1979 (PAKISTAN): AN INTERIM BRIEF REPORT 126-66 (2006)| accessed 18 November 2014| (discussing the findings of commissions and organizations that have reviewed the Zina Ordinance and recommended reform or repeal)
  19. ^ Moeen H. Cheema, Cases and Controversies: Pregnancy as Proof of Guilt Under Pakistan's Hudood Laws, 32 BROOK. J. INT'L L. 121, 128 n.20 (2006) (discussing the commissions that have recommended the repeal of the Hudood Ordinances).
  20. ^ Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1297-8
  21. ^ Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1305
  22. ^ Ashfaq, Abira (Winter 2006). "Voices from Prison and a Call for Repeal: The Hudood Laws of Pakistan". New Politics. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  23. ^ Jails and prisoners, State of Human Rights 2004, HRCP 1500 women are "believed to be in jail in March" in 2003 according to the HRCP report.
  24. ^ Hudood Ordinance - The Crime And Punishment For Zina amnesty.org
  25. ^ In 2003 the National Commission on Status of Women estimated 1500 women were in prison, but according to another report (statistics compiled by the Society for Advancement of Community Health Education and Training (SACHET) and Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) Team for Karachi Women Prison) 7000 women and children were kept in extremely poor conditions in 75 jails in 2003-2004 (sources: Violence against Women and Impediments in Access to Justice
  26. ^ Pakistan: Pakistani religious law challenged)
  27. ^ Washington Times, "A victory for Pakistani women"
  28. ^ Amendment in Hudood laws - The Protection of Women's Rights Bill
  29. ^ See Safia Bibi v. State in PLD 1985 FSC 120; Zafran Bibi v. State in PLD 2002 FSC 1
  30. ^ Washington Times, A victory for Pakistani women
  31. ^ "Zina (Adultery/Fornication) and Rape". wrcaselaw.files. femin ijtihad. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  32. ^ Mydans, Seth (17 May 2002). "In Pakistan, Rape Victims Are the 'Criminals'". The New York Times. 
  33. ^ Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1310-311
  34. ^ Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, 2006, at Statement of Objects and Reasons (Pak.), http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/legislation/2006/wpb.html (last visited Oct. 27, 2007) (on file with the Washington and Lee Law Review).
  35. ^ Muttahida Quami Movement, "Particular coterie of religious scholars wish to deprive women of their just and basic rights", 7 September 2006
  36. ^ "KARACHI: KU workshop urges review of Hudood laws". dawn.com. 23 September 2005. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  37. ^ The Hindu, "Musharraf wants Hudood laws amended"
  38. ^ "Pakistan senate backs rape bill". BBC News. 23 November 2006. 
  39. ^ "Musharraf signs Women's bill"
  40. ^ Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1308
  41. ^ Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1308-12
  42. ^ "Strong feelings over Pakistan rape laws". BBC News. 15 November 2006. 
  43. ^ "Pakistan: Women's protection Bill a farce". wluml.org. women living under Muslim laws. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  44. ^ Hussain, Zahid (14 September 2006). "Musharraf retreats on rape law". The Times (London). 
  45. ^ Lau, "Twenty-Five Years of Hudood Ordinances", 2007: p.1314