ISLAMABAD - National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), to show solidarity with victims in Usman Mirza case, on Thursday visited the Sessions Court Islamabad and requested for permission to attend the case hearing. 

Chairperson NCHR Rabiya Javeri Agha, member minorities Manzoor Masih and NCHR legal team requested the court to be part of the proceedings of the case. The commission members met with the prosecution team and closely discussed the case in question. The hearing was adjourned due to non-availability of the witnesses/victims. 

Last year in July, a video surfaced on social media in which the main accused in the case, Usman Mirza could be seen violently thrashing and harassing the young couple. Within a few hours of the video going viral, the Islamabad police took Mirza into custody and registered a first information report (FIR) in the case.

Later on, seven people, including Usman Mirza, were charged in the Islamabad couple harassment case. Islamabad High Court rejected the bail appeals of three accused and directed the authorities to complete Usman Mirza’s trial case in two months. 

On January 11, the case took a dramatic turn when both victims retracted from their previous statements. “Despite taking notice of this particular case by the Prime Minister, the victims have retracted from their statements. We have seen such cases time and again,” NCHR Chairperson said. 

Talking to media persons, NCHR Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha said, “In Pakistan rape case convictions stand at only 3%. According to research by Legal Aid Authority, nearly 60% of rape victims change their statements after registration of FIR.” 

Explaining the reasons behind becoming part of the proceedings at this stage, she said: “The Commission wants to bring forward and highlight systemic issues faced by vulnerable groups. We are the voice of the vulnerable and stand with them,” Rabiya added.