HRCP concerned over ‘torture on political activists’
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday expressed concern over the reports of alleged torture on at least five political activists in the Gilgit Jail, saying the reports were exceedingly worrying and hinted at the authorities’ refusal to learn from past mistakes. The commission said, “HRCP notes with concern that the five activists who have been in prison for several months continue to face very harsh treatment for protesting against the poor quality of food and delay in hearing of prisoners’ cases. They have been incarcerated for protesting on behalf of victims of forced displacement on account of the Attabad landslide in January 2010.”
On April 28, the five activists were reportedly visited in the jail by police and security agencies and tortured on the dubious charges of leading a protest in the prison. One of the activists, Baba Jan, was reportedly exposed to severe torture, resulting in two broken fingers and injuries to his head and other parts of body.
“It is a matter of concern that despite a local court’s order, he and other activists have not been examined by a doctor and have not been hospitalised, in violation of the court’s order. Attempts to lodge cases against the security personnel who tortured them have also not been successful,” the commission said.
The HRCP strongly protested maltreatment of the activists in official custody, demanding that they must not be denied basic rights and due process. Those accused of torturing them must be suspended, the commission said.