HRCP says police running torture cells
KARACHI – The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) claimed in Karachi on December 10 that the police are indulged in all kinds of illegal practices such as running torture cells providing protection to criminals and extortion.
The accusation was made at a consultation on “Police excesses, Illegal Detention, Torture and Death in Custody” organised by the HRCP at Higher Education Commission office on the occasion of the World Human Rights Day, which falls on Dec 10.
Two victims of police atrocities were presented at the consultation. Akhter, 27, hailing from Malir, got his legs fractured by the police and Naveed, 23, hailing from Liaquatabad, was targeted and hit by bullets in his legs by the police.
HRCP council members, district coordinators and activists attended the consultation. The Sindh Police, CPLC and home department officials also contributed to the discussion.
Cases of torture, extortion and death in custody were presented as samples. Activists regretted that policemen were very rarely prosecuted for their crimes. When a policeman committed an atrocity, an inquiry committee was immediately set up but no action was usually taken, the HRCP activists said. They further said rampant corruption went uninvestigated and even resourceful people had problems in this regard, so the common man was completely helpless. They said numerous cases occurred in which agencies illegally detained innocent citizens and then completely denied the incident. Activists also said there was a gulf between the police and the people and people were afraid to go to the police for help.
Police officials said there was a need to look at the criminal justice system as a whole. “The courts, civil society and the media should be responsible as well. With the tribalizing of the state, the Jirga system is becoming stronger. People present their cases to jirgas, instead of courts, thus further weakening the judicial system and its functioning,” HRCP activists said.
It was suggested that the courts should play a more active role. Human rights committees are present under every district sessions judge. A judge can take suo-motu notice of an incident, without a complaint having been made. Officials stressed that infrastructure and facilities for the police needed to be improved.
Source: Daily Times