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PAKISTAN: Protect kiln workers from torture, illegal detention and attacks

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Hunger Alert Case : The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that brick kiln owners, with the patronage of the Punjab provincial government, have been holding children, women, and men in illegal detention. Women who have been demanding compliance of the minimum wage and social security have been beaten, their clothes stripped, and their children whisked away. There has been a spurt of recent incidents of violence against kiln workers and their representatives. Trade union leader Miss Ghulam Fatima has been slapped, harassed, and threatened by office bearers of the Brick Kiln Owners Association, and that too in front of the provincial minister of labour during the National Labour Conference. In another incident, a kiln owner attacked a female worker, Miss Khursheed Bibi, tore off her clothes, and detained her in a dark room for two hours. In a latest related development, the Lahore High Court rescued 64 brick kiln workers, including 26 children, from illegal detention centers run by the owners of brick kilns. Read More...

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Human Rights Report
Torture in Pakistan

Torture in custody is a serious problem affecting the rule of law in Pakistan. It is used as the most common means to obtain confession statements. As yet, there has been no serious effort by the government to make torture a crime in the country. It provides impunity to the perpetrators who are mostly either policemen or members of the armed forces. Furthermore, there is no means for the protection of witnesses. This discourages victims from making complaints. While the international jurisprudence on the issue has evolved into very high standards, the situation in Pakistan resembles the stone ages.

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