PAKISTAN: No action taken against police officers who tortured 8 persons in custody for several days

The police officers who were involved in torturing eight persons of Pir Jo Goth, Khairpur district, Sindh, in their custody at three different police stations are enjoying impunity two months after the constituting of an inquiry committee, as the Additional Session Judge, Khaipur is on leave. The Sindh police are also threatening the victim’s families to withdraw the cases against police.

The eight victims, arrested on July 15,2007, on the charges of snatching a motor cycle along with 13 persons were brutally tortured in Kot Deji, Gaindaho and Swarah police stations by their station head officers (SHOs) under the supervision of officer in charge, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). First the case of raping a girl was filed against victims and when girl denied before the court that she was not raped by any one and did not know any of the accused the case of rape was withdrawn.

It was reported in the media throughout the country and according to the cases filed against those officers that the victims were tortured in order to force them to confess the snatching of motor cycle. During the torture victims were stripped nude and made to act like dogs and wild bears. They were also forced bite each other. Please see our urgent appeals; and

It is alleged that the cases against the victims were registered by Mr. Mohammad Ali Shah, a power full man of the area, who has the patronage of Mr. Sibghat Ullah Rashdidi, a provincial minister and son of a religious and political figure of the country. It is also said in the media that the reason for not taking any action against the accused police officers is the coming elections and these officers had a good record of rigging elections in favour of the religious persons of Pir Jo Goth.

After the much news coverage and intervention of the AHRC, the government of Sindh constituted an inquiry committee under Mr. Abdul Hameed Querashi, Additional Session Judge, Khaipur district, to probe the cases of torture in custody by the police officers. However, since August of this year the inquiry officer has not initiated inquiries into the case but only recorded the statements of the victims after which he went on sick leave. During his absence the government of Sindh promoted him to as the Judge of Session court, Khaipur as a reward on the instructions OF A religious personality.

It has come into the notice of the AHRC that police officials are using routine methods of threats to not only the victims but also against the local journalists who are working on this case of impunity. 
The Asian Human Rights Commission condemns the impunity provided to the police officials on their heinous crime by the Sindh government and demands that the government should act quickly to arrest the perpetrators according to the law and have the case registered immediately. The compensation should also be paid to the victims and an inquiry should be conducted into providing impunity to the perpetrators.

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AS-248-2007
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Torture,