#WeAreWithKhadija: Pakistani student’s fight for justice

After Lahore High Court acquits man accused of stabbing student 24 times, social media reacts

Dubai


#WeAreWithKhadija is trending as Twitter followers use it to express their extreme disappointment in Pakistan’s judicial system.

The case of Khadija Siddiqi, a Pakistani student who was stabbed in broad daylight 24 times by her classmate, is back in the spotlight. The Lahore High Court today acquitted Shah Hussain, her attacker.

Khadija, who has been actively campaigning against violence against women after the attack, wrote: “Inna lilahi wa ina ilahi rajioon [We belong to God and to Him we shall return]! Justice butchered. Shah hussain acquitted!”

Human rights activist and Khadija’s lawyer, Hassaan Niazi, also tweeted soon after the judgement. Posting under the handle @HniaziISF, he wrote: “It was Khadija’s battle till yesterday. Khadija you did your job well. Today you didn’t lose – it was society that lost. So, it is battle of the society now. The hashtag in Support of Khadija is #WeAreWithKhadija Please use this. We will fight back – we will fight the Mafia.”

The incident occurred in May 2016, when Khadija was picking her sister up from her school in Lahore.

While Hussain had been sentenced to five years in jail by a trial court earlier, the Lahore High Court today acquitted him.

Mohammad Jibran Nasir, a civil liberty activist, tweeted: “Attacker of #KhadijaSiddiqi who stabbed her 24 times has been acquitted by Lahore High Court. Is this what our justice system has come down to? First under CJP Nisar’s general order security was withdrawn from @khadeeeej751 and now her attacker has been set free. Shame.”

 

Tweet @Pansota1 wrote: “Black day for all the oppressed and vulnerable community. Supreme Court must take suo moto notice of this perverse decision by the Court.”

 

Facebook user Fatima Zehra posted: “Our patriotism is misguided and useless, when justice cannot be served even to those who deserve it above all others.”

Another Facebook user, Ahmed Mustafa Kanjoo, wrote: “Khadija Siddiqi, 23, another daughter of the soil we have failed. No doubt that our justice system (if we can even call it that) is broken … A blatant miscarriage of justice and serious cause to doubt the impartiality and integrity of those who facilitated such a blatant violation of the law of the land.”

Other online users commented on how influential people in society appeared to get away with criminal activity.

@chaienthusiast tweeted: “Something is seriously wrong with our judicial system how can you let a murderer set free just like that? Honestly can’t imagine the pain she must be going through right now. I admire her strength. #WeAreWithKhadija”

Referring to another high-profile case in Pakistan where university student Shahzeb Khan was murdered and the accused was acquitted, @ATweets_ wrote: “First Shahrukh Jatoi [accused in the Shahzeb Khan murder], now Shah Hussain. Will no criminals and murderers from influential families be ever punished? Will they always be allowed to roam free like nothing happened after destroying the lives of their victims & their families?”

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