LHRLA condemns police highhandedness
KARACHI – The Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) have condemned the recent incident of abuse and torture of detainees at Gizri police station lock-up, who received burn injuries and one of them died during treatment.
The injured person had alleged the cops poured petrol on them and set on fire.
LHRLA President Zia Ahmed Awan Advocate strongly condemned the brutal act of torture and sought support from members of civil society to take action to eliminate that abuse across the country.
According to him, prisoners were vulnerable to exploitation direct control of the state but international norms dictate arrest and detention must at all times adhere to international standards.
He maintained that during first seven months of 2004 alone, around 504 cases of police torture were reported in the national press. Of these, the vast majority was from Punjab and Sindh, respectively with 295 and 186 cases.
Whereas 103 cases were of illegal detention, 95 cases of murder and nearly half of the acts, a total 266, including acts of beating with a baton or whip, being hung upside down by the ankles, punching and burning with cigarettes at police stations across the country.
Madadgar data revealed that even women and children had faced extreme risk of being raped or sodomized in police custody. Madadgar data showed that out of 97 women 15 were raped at police stations whereas 4 among 37 children were sodomized by men in uniform.
It had been cited that police torture occurs in Pakistan for two main reasons; to extract confession and show efficiency in investigation.
Under Pakistani law, the police must produce detained suspects before a Judicial Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest, however such procedures were routinely violated.
Although article 9 of the Constitution guarantees that no person should be deprived of life or liberty in accordance with the law, article 10 protects against illegal detention and article 14 protects against the use of torture for extracting evidence.
Source: Business Recorder