LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday expressed alarm and disappointment over a declaration by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) that DNA test results are not acceptable as primary evidence in cases of rape.
The human rights watchdog called the assertion “regressive, unfortunate and unkind to rape victims.”
“HRCP wants to unequivocally state that the latest pronouncement of the CII is regressive, brings no credit to this body and certainly not to the country, but most important of all it is exceptionally insensitive and unkind to rape victims,” said a press release by the commission.
On Wednesday, a meeting of the CII had declared DNA tests not acceptable as primary evidence in cases of rape, but could be used as a supporting evidence for confirmation of the crime.
The CII was also of the view that Islam has set procedures to determine cases of rape and said Islamic procedure should be adopted during investigation.
“Refuting its (DNA test’s) importance and much more crucially, suggesting that it is made inadmissible as primary evidence helps the rapist and no one else. The CII recommendation refuses to take into account the rights of rape victims and the need to punish the criminals who are proven guilty beyond doubt,” said the HRCP in its statement.
The human rights watchdog also called on the new government for an urgent reconstitution of the CII.
“Recommendations such as these demonstrate how dangerously conservative and out of touch with the times the CII is today… the pitiable fact that this entirely uncalled for recommendation did not encounter opposition in the CII is ground enough for urgent reconstitution of the CII in an inclusive manner with wide consultation,” it said.
The new government must move without delay to undo the damage done by this “reckless and injudicious pronouncement by the CII”, it added.