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 Hudood Ordinance
 Legal Aid

Legal Education Behind Bars

As a focal part of the education behind bars program several pamphlets were compiled, published, launched and freely distributed. The series of pamphlets detailed relevant procedures and rights guaranteed to prisoners under detention.

There were 6 pamphlets in all and their headings and contents were as follows:

 Legal Education Behind Bars
 Jail Reforms
 Paralegal Training
 Minority Group
Lawyers for Human Rights & Legal Aid
Opp. Sindh Assembly Building, Court Road,
Karachi-74200, Pakistan
UAN: 111-911-912 Fax: 5685938


1. 'The Method and Process for Application of Bail and Appeal'. This highlighted the relevant procedures and served as a guide for prisoners who had previously been unable to hire the services of a lawyer to file their applications.


2. 'The Method and Process of Criminal Procedure Rules' was for the information of prisoners who had no outside support or family to follow up the procedure on their behalf.

3. 'The Jail Manual' was compiled in a concise and easy readable form for ready reference by prisoners.

4. 'The Hudood and Zina Ordinance Laws', updated until 1997, were listed in a booklet.

5. 'Basic Family Laws' deals with issues such as maintenance, divorce, khula, dower (haq mehar) and custody of children.

6. A basic manual listing all the Fundamental Human Rights guaranteed by the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan (1973) and the process of initiating court proceedings to secure those rights in case of violation was also distributed.

These 6 pamphlets, outlining the above mentioned areas and the procedure for securing them were distributed in Urdu and English in Karachi Jail, thus enabling, and to a large extent empowering prisoners, more specially women prisoners who it seemed were less vocal about their rights.

In fact the success of this project can be measured by the fact that several women actually managed to secure their release by consulting these publications.

Foreigners, usually booked under trafficking and drug charges, were especially helped by the English version of these booklets; they understood what were their legal rights and language was no longer a barrier.

Encouraged by the success of these pamphlets in English and Urdu, the initiative was taken to translate them into other regional languages. This was done in order to cater to the needs of prisoners from different ethnic backgrounds in the rural areas of Pakistan.

The translated versions completed in Sindhi and Pushto await a formal launching and distribution.

A series of 9 posters has been produced to facilitate the jail inmates, in which the basic legal procedures are defined in very simple language. This enables even those who are unaware of the very rudiments of law, to defend themselves better.

The purpose of this service is not only to increase awareness of basic human rights among the prisoners as individuals, but also to collaborate in a self-help scheme for detainees who can thus be independent of outside help or legal professionals. They can now take care of their basic legal needs, notwithstanding a lack of finances or resources to hire professionals to defend them.

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