Mixed rights picture for Pakistan

June 7, 2012 at 12:02 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, June 7 (UPI) -- Pakistan is committed to addressing issues related to women's rights and torture though more work is needed, the U.N. high commissioner on human rights said.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay spoke to reporters as she wrapped up a tour of Pakistan this week.

Pillay said she secured assurances from Pakistani authorities that it was committed to codifying laws on torture.

"This is very welcome news, since it is essential that a clear definition of torture and the fact that it is a crime under any circumstances must be enshrined in national law if the practice is to be eradicated," she said.

Human Rights Watch this week said Pakistani forces are suspected of having a role in enforced disappearances and abuses targeting members of minority ethnic communities.

On the rights of women the picture remains "grim," Pillay said. A group of women this week were condemned to death by a tribal council in Kohistan in northern Pakistan for singing and dancing with men during a wedding in apparent violation of tribal law.

Pillay said the case is illustrative of the problems associated with parallel legal systems in Pakistan.

She added, however, that the Pakistani Supreme Court observed that tribal councils are illegal.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm