PAKISTAN: A young man goes missing in custody after policemen raped him 

A young man has disappeared from police custody after being raped by two police officials. The police officials have been arrested after protests by the villagers but the young man has not been recovered. The district police of Naushahro Feroze, Sindh province, have not initiated a proper investigation into his disappearance.

According to the details received on May 20 at 8:30 pm, Mr. Imran Jokhio, (17) a tailor by profession, was stopped by two police officials, Head constable Ilyas Sahito, and Constable Ghulam Rasool Marri, of the Phull Police Station, Naushahro Feroze district, Sindh province, at Mafi Faqir Bridge at Rohri canal while he was travelling in an auto Rickshaw (three wheeler). Since then his whereabouts are unknown.

The following day, the May 21, his friend, Mr. Naeem Mallah, informed his mother about his arrest after a police check. His mother, Mrs. Shahina along with Mr. Mallah went to Phull Police Station to see her son. The police not only did not allow her to meet with Imran but also forcefully pushed her and Mr. Mallah to leave the police station. She continuously visited Phull police station for three days and requested officials there to allow her to meet her son but this was always refused.

After finding no way she informed the villagers who then arranged a demonstration outside the police station. The station house officer (SHO) and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) spoke to the villagers and told them that Imran was not in police station. However, they assured the people present Imran Jokhio would be recovered within three days. After continuous protests and reports published in media, the Naushahro Feroze police filed a case of abduction and rape of Imran against the accused policemen but took some days to arrest them. Without any proper investigation the accused persons were sent to the Sub-Jail of Naushahro Feroze.

In their statement both the accused police men confessed that they had stopped Imran during snap checking at Mafi Faqir bridge and took him to far away dark place where they raped him. In the early hours of May 21 and they had information on his whereabouts.

It is alleged by his mother that high police officers, including the district police officer (DPO), Mr. Rukhsar Khuhawar, are trying to cover up the crime of the accused policemen. She argues that when she visited the police station to see her son the police never denied his presence.

This is a sheer case of negligence and irresponsibility of the Sindh government to recover a young man who was disappeared from the custody of the police. It is feared by the guardians of young man that he might have been killed and the district police are trying to hide the fact. This is the usual criminal practice of the police in rural areas. Previously Assistant Sub Inspector Mr. Aslam Langah was appointed investigation officer (I.O) in the case but he was quickly transferred from investigation and there was no formal investigation officer in the case for many months. Earlier this month ASI Mr. Irfan Bhutto was appointed as investigation officer but he has still not taken charge of the case.

Therefore the whole process of dealing with the case of Imran Jokhio by the district police of Naushahro Feroze is very much dubious and suspicious.

The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the government to recover Mr. Imran Jokhio who has now been missing for six months after his arrest during the snap checking. The district police officer of Naushahro Feroze district and station house officer of Phull police station must be prosecuted for disappearing a young man from police custody.

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-215-2010
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Enforced disappearances and abductions,