Civil society blames state for rampant torture -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Civil society blames state for rampant torture

By Sohail Khattak

KARACHI: Judges, social workers, lawyers and journalists tagged the security agencies responsible the torture of people in the country in a seminar titled “Torture is crime” held at the press club on Sunday.

Justice (retired) Rasheed A Rizvi said that any sort of torture is a violation of the ConstitutionÂ’s Article 14 clause 1, which describes the dignity of a human being. The police should adopt the practice of taking action against the police officer concerned if they find out that the confession statement was extracted by coercion.

Meanwhile, Asian Human Rights Commission senior researcher Baseer Naveed said that torture and violence are two different things — domestic violence is not torture. “Torture is the infliction of severe pain or giving severe mental tension to someone and there is a state agent involved in it,” he explained.

Naveed claimed that the attacks on installations of security forces are a reaction to the torture cells they have constructed in their bases where they torture alleged terrorists from foreign countries. “The navy has three torture cells in Karachi and the Pakistan Army has 52 torture cells.”

The Balochistan National Party’s Hasil Bizenjo brought up missing persons.

In response, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam said that he discussed the problem with the Balochistan High Court Chief Justice and they are trying to find the people. “The Chief Justice of Pakistan should force the lower judiciary to minimise torture and violence,” he suggested.

The HRCP’s Zohra Yusuf said, “Torture is widespread in Pakistan and the police, security agencies and prison staff are the most frequent offenders”.

Another member of the Balochistan National Party, Sardar Abdul Rauf Mengal, said, “I, myself, became the victim of torture when I was put in prison for four years,” he said.
Source: The ExpressTribune
Date:6/27/2011