Alleged Jamia Hafsa detainee sent to new shelter home


ISLAMABAD: Sessions Judge Nazir Ahmad Gujana sent Uzma Qayyum, the girl who her family alleged was detained at Jamia Hafsa, women’s seminary at Lal Masjid, to another shelter home on Tuesday.

Judge Gujana, who is investigating the matter on the orders of the Supreme Court, has sent the 26-year-old girl to the Benazir Bhutto Shelter Home and Crisis Centre in H-9 for one week.

She is to appear before the judge following the end of this week to record her statement.

Also read: Lal Masjid ‘detainee’ refuses to return to her parents

He said that her family will be able to visit her at the shelter during this period.

Last week the judge had sent the girl to Darul Aman shelter home in Rawalpindi.

Advocate Muhammad Haider Imtiaz, representing Uzma’s father, told Dawn that the Darul Aman managers allowed the family just one visit during the last week.

“Uzma did not mingle with the other women at the shelter and kept to herself. The judge felt that she needed an environment where she could interact with other people,” he said.

Run by the Ministry of Law and Justice, the Benazir Bhutto Women Shelter Home and Crisis Centre also provides psychological counseling to women.

The lawyer said the family had arranged for Uzma to receive religious education but she wanted to devote her entire life to religion.

“This shows that she was taught this lesson at her place of learning,” he said.

Uzma’s story came under spotlight on December 29, 2014 when her father approached the Human Rights Cell (HRC) of the Supreme Court for ‘recovering’ his daughter - then living in Jamia Hafsa run by Umme Hassan, wife of the controversial cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz.

In his application to HRC, Mr Qayyum alleged that his daughter was being kept a captive by the administration of Jamia Hafsa for the past seven months.

However, Umme Hassan claimed that the girl was not willing to return to her family. She also said that Uzma did not wish to marry her fiancé with whom her family had arranged her marriage.

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