Home / News / Urgent Appeals / PAKISTAN: Police severed a young man's penis during torture

PAKISTAN: Police severed a young man's penis during torture

January 31, 2007

URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal

31 January 2007
-------------------------------------
UA-032-2007: PAKISTAN: Police severed a young man's penis during torture

PAKISTAN: Brutality of police; torture in police custody; fabrication of charges; impunity; un-rule of law
-------------------------------------

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information about a horrific case in which a 24-year-old young man, Mr. Hazoor Buksh Malik, was severely assaulted on his penis while being tortured by the Station Head Officer (SHO) of the Market police station in Larkana District, Sindh Province, Pakistan, on 25 January 2007. The victim had been arrested by the Market police on the charges of being without his national identity card on January 22. The victim is now warded in a hospital under police custody. It is alleged that police officers of Larkana District are threatening the victim, demanding him to change the story of the incident before the inquiry committee and claim that he severed his own penis in an attempt to commit suicide. Meanwhile, the police also filed an attempted suicide case against the victim to cover up the incident. The victim's genitals are being kept in the store room of the Market police station allegedly for further investigation. The local people, however, claim that the police is doing so in order to demonstrate its terror and instill fear in the people.

CASE DETAILS:

On 22 January 2007, 24-year-old Mr. Hazoor Buksh Malik, a cook by profession, was arrested by the Market police near the ladies shopping market named Resham Gali in Larkana city, Larkana district, Sindh province for not possessing a national identity card while he was shopping. It is reported that Mr. Hazoor Buksh had worked as a cook in the house of Mr. Moummad Tunio, the SHO of the Market Police station some three years ago. At that time, he had been arrested by the SHO on the charge of stealing Rupees 25,000 (USD 417) from the house and severely tortured. He was later released due to lack of evidence. However, the SHO Mr. Moummad Tunio had ordered the victim to leave the area immediately and not to come back again to Larkana city. The SHO had then allegedly threatened the victim, saying that if he saw the victim again under his jurisdiction, he would be subjected to exemplary punishment.?

Late in the night of 25 January 2007, the SHO Mr. Mohummad Tunio came in drunk to the police station and ordered on-duty police officers to fasten the victim with ropes and chains. The on-duty officers at that time were Registrar Head Constable (Head Moharar) Mr. Rab Nawaz Mangi, Head Constable Mr. Abdul Latif, and Head Constable Mr. Ayaz Shahani. The SHO then began to brutally torture Mr. Hazoor Buksh, and at the height of anger, he allegedly severed the victim's penis with a sharp-edged knife. It was around 2:30 am and the victim's hands remained chained behind him.

Early the following morning on January 26, Mr. Hazoor Buksh was found unconscious lying in the police lock-up in a pool of blood. The police took him to Chandka Medical College and Hospital in Larkana district. Since then, he has been under treatment at the Jail Ward of the hospital, chained to his bed and under police custody. Meanwhile, the police allegedly registered a false attempted suicide case and a First Information Report (FIR) No. 17/2007 against the victim under sections 34, 337 and 334 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The police also claimed that the victim is a mentally ill person.?

Upon learning about this horrific incident, local people and journalists held a protest against the brutality of the police and also went on strike.

The Home Department of the Sindh provincial government appointed Mr. Akhtar Hussian Gorchani, the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Larkana Range, to conduct an inquiry about the incident. However, the DIG made an inquiry in haste on January 26 and submitted a report confirming the police's version of the story that this is an attempted suicide case and that the victim is a mentally ill person.

However, the Home Department rejected the DIG's report due to huge protest of local people, journalists and political groups in the area and appointed Mr. Mushtaq Mahar, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)-Investigation to re-conduct the inquiry into the incident. The SSP recorded statements of several police officers including the SHO Mr. Mohummad Tunio on January 28. However, the inquiry report is kept in pending.

According to a staff reporter Mr. Nisar Khokhar of Daily Kawish, one Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr. Ali Nawaz Lashari said that he told the SSP that the victim has worked as a cook at his residence for the last one year and the victim was never found to be a thief or a mentally ill person. The SHO Mr. Muhammad Tunio is now denying having castrated the victim and insists that the victim did it by himself with a broken tea cup. The victim told both the DIG and SSP during the inquiry that the SHO cut his penis with the help of some police officers.

The Sindh provincial government suspended the SHO Mr. Muhammad Tunio until the inquiry is completed. However, local newspapers reported that the SHO regularly visits the Market police station. It is also alleged that now high ranking officials are threatening the victim to change his statement against the SHO to that of attempted suicide, otherwise his family will face dire consequences.

The victim's marriage was fixed to be the third week of February 2007.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the relevant authorities listed below demanding their urgent intervention to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice. All the medical expenses should be covered by the local authorities and the victim should be adequately compensated. Please also urge the Government of Pakistan to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture (CAT) without further delay in order to prevent the abuse committed by the state officers.?

To support this appeal, please click:

Sample Letter:

Dear ___________,

PAKISTAN: Police severed a young man's penis during torture

Name of victim: Mr. Hazoor Buksh Malik, aged 24, a cook by profession, permanent resident of Garhee Tagoo village, Yaluka Khanpurr, Shikarpurr district, Sindh province, Pakistan; at the time of incident he was working as a cook at the residence of Mr. Ali Nawaz Lashari, a Deputy Superintended of Police (DSP), in Larkana district, Sindh province, Pakistan
Alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Muhammad Tunio, Station Head Officer (SHO) attached to the Market police station in Larkana District, Sindh province (prime suspect)
2. Registrar Head Constable (Head Moharar) Mr. Rab Nawaz Mangi attached to the Market police station
3. Head Constable Mr. Abdul Latif attached to the Market police station
4. Head Constable Mr. Ayaz Shahani attached to the Market police station
5. Mr. Akhtar Hussain Gorchani, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) of Larkana Range, the first investigating officer of the incident
Place of incident: Market police station
Date of incident: late in the night of January 25 to 2:30am on January 26, 2007

I want to inform you about the horrific torture inflicted upon a 24-year-old young man by the Market police in Larkana district, Sindh province. I was informed that Mr. Hazoor Buksh Malik was cut on his penis by the Station Head Officer (SHO) of the Market police station while being tortured on 25-26 January 2007. The victim had been arrested near a ladies shopping market named Resham Gali in Larkana city by the Market police on January 22 on the charge of not having his national identity card.

To briefly explain the incident, late in the night of 25 January 2007, the SHO Mr. Mohummad Tunio came in drunk to the police station and ordered on-duty police officers to fasten the victim with ropes and chains. The on-duty officers at that time were Registrar Head Constable (Head Moharar) Mr. Rab Nawaz Mangi, Head Constable Mr. Abdul Latif, and Head Constable Mr. Ayaz Shahani. The SHO then began to brutally torture Mr. Hazoor Buksh, and at the height of anger, he allegedly severed the victim's penis with a sharp-edged knife.

I am appalled that the Market police simply abandoned the victim despite his serious injuries due to torture. The victim was found unconscious lying in the police lock-up in a pool of blood on the morning of January 26. He was then taken by the police to Chandka Medical College and Hospital in Larkana district, where he has been under treatment at the Jail Ward of the hospital under police custody.

I was informed that to avoid responsibility of the incident, the police registered a false attempted suicide case against the victim and also claimed that the victim is a mentally ill person. However, I have a view that the SHO committed this crime as a punishment to the victim. I was informed that the victim had worked as a cook at the said SHO's house some three years ago and arrested on charges of stealing Rupees 25,000 (USD 417) from the SHO's house. He was severely tortured during the detention but later released due to lack of evidence. However, the SHO allegedly told the victim that if he comes back to his jurisdiction in Larkana city, he would be given exemplary punishment. I have also learned that one Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who is the current employer of the victim, reportedly told the SSP that the victim was never found to be a thief and is certainly no mentally ill person.

While welcoming the temporary suspension of the SHO Mr. Muhammad Tunio by the Sindh government, I am gravely concerned about the transparency of the police inquiry into this incident. I was informed that the first investigating officer of this incident, Mr. Akhtar Hussian Gorchani, the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Larkana Range, submitted an inquiry report on January 26, which merely confirms the police's version of the story, although the victim gave the DIG the details of the incident. I was informed that Mr. Mushtaq Mahar, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)-Investigation is re-conducting the inquiry into the incident; however the inquiry report has been in pending to date.

I am also concerned about the security of the victim's family. I was informed that the high ranking officials are allegedly threatening the victim to change his statement against the SHO to one of attempted suicide, or else his family will face dire consequences. Furthermore, the SHO regularly visits the Market police station and freely contacts his colleagues despite his suspension. I think this threatens the transparency of the investigation and becomes an indirect intimidation to the victim and his family.?

This brutal incident completely destroyed the life of the victim, who was scheduled to marry in the third week of February 2007. It is also sad to say that this is not an isolated incident of police brutality but common practice in police stations in your country on daily basis.?

I therefore strongly urge you to ensure that the investigation can be conducted in a transparent and speedy way so that the alleged perpetrators are brought to justice without delay. Police officers responsible for the gruesome act, including the SHO of Market police, should be charged with attempted murder. I also request you to inquire about the investigation done by DIG Mr. Akhtar Hussain Gorchani and to take proper action against him if he is found guilty of covering up the case to protect the alleged perpetrators. I also request you to inquire about the alleged threats to the victim and provide effective protection to him and his family while the investigation is going on. In addition, all the medical expenses should be covered by the Sindh provincial authorities and the victim should be adequately compensated as well.

The Government of Pakistan should not delay ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture (CAT) any more in order to prevent the abuse committed by the state officers. Otherwise, the Government of Pakistan will not be able to justify its presence in the UN Human Rights Council and will make itself the mockery of an international community.?

I look for your urgent intervention in this case.


-----------------------


PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTER TO:

1. General Pervez Musharraf
President
President's Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 922 1422, 4768/ 920 1893 or 1835
E-mail: (please see - < http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk/WTPresidentMessage.aspx)

2. Mr. Muhammad Wasi Zafar
Minister of Law, Justice and Human Rights
S Block Pakistan Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 920 2628
E-Mail: minister@molaw.gov.pk

3. Mr. Justice Sabih Uddin
Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
High Court Building
Saddar
Karachi
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92-21-9213220
Email: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk?

4. Dr. Ishrat UL Ibad
Governor of Sindh province
Karachi
PAKISTAN
Tel: + 92 21 920 1201
5. Dr. Arbab Abdul Rahim
Chief Minister of Sindh
Chief Minister House
Karachi
PAKISTAN

6. Chief Secretary
Government of Sindh
Chief Secretariat,
Karachi, Sindh province,
PAKISTAN
Email: cs.sindh@sindh.gov.pk 

7. Secretary
(Criminal Prosecution) SGA &CD Department
Government of Sindh
Sindh Secretariat,
Karachi, Sindh Province.
PAKISTAN
Email: secy.cpsd@sindh.gov.pk

8. Dr. Faqir Hussain
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court Building
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92-51-9213770
E-mail: registrar@supremecourt.gov.pk

9. Prof. Manfred Nowak
Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture
Attn: Safir Syed
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
1211 Geneva 10
SWITZERLAND
Tel: +41 22 917 9230
Fax: +41 22 917 9016 (ATTN: SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR TORTURE)


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ahrchk@ahrchk.org)


Document Type :
Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID :
UA-032-2007
Countries :
Issues :
Document Actions
Share |
Subscribe to our Mailing List
Follow AHRC
Extended Introduction: Urgent Appeals, theory and practice

A need for dialogue

Many people across Asia are frustrated by the widespread lack of respect for human rights in their countries.  Some may be unhappy about the limitations on the freedom of expression or restrictions on privacy, while some are affected by police brutality and military killings.  Many others are frustrated with the absence of rights on labour issues, the environment, gender and the like. 

Yet the expression of this frustration tends to stay firmly in the private sphere.  People complain among friends and family and within their social circles, but often on a low profile basis. This kind of public discourse is not usually an effective measure of the situation in a country because it is so hard to monitor. 

Though the media may cover the issues in a broad manner they rarely broadcast the private fears and anxieties of the average person.  And along with censorship – a common blight in Asia – there is also often a conscious attempt in the media to reflect a positive or at least sober mood at home, where expressions of domestic malcontent are discouraged as unfashionably unpatriotic. Talking about issues like torture is rarely encouraged in the public realm.

There may also be unwritten, possibly unconscious social taboos that stop the public reflection of private grievances.  Where authoritarian control is tight, sophisticated strategies are put into play by equally sophisticated media practices to keep complaints out of the public space, sometimes very subtly.  In other places an inner consensus is influenced by the privileged section of a society, which can control social expression of those less fortunate.  Moral and ethical qualms can also be an obstacle.

In this way, causes for complaint go unaddressed, un-discussed and unresolved and oppression in its many forms, self perpetuates.  For any action to arise out of private frustration, people need ways to get these issues into the public sphere.

Changing society

In the past bridging this gap was a formidable task; it relied on channels of public expression that required money and were therefore controlled by investors.  Printing presses were expensive, which blocked the gate to expression to anyone without money.  Except in times of revolution the media in Asia has tended to serve the well-off and sideline or misrepresent the poor.

Still, thanks to the IT revolution it is now possible to communicate with large audiences at little cost.  In this situation there is a real avenue for taking issues from private to public, regardless of the class or caste of the individual.

Practical action

The AHRC Urgent Appeals system was created to give a voice to those affected by human rights violations, and by doing so, to create a network of support and open avenues for action.  If X’s freedom of expression is denied, if Y is tortured by someone in power or if Z finds his or her labour rights abused, the incident can be swiftly and effectively broadcast and dealt with. The resulting solidarity can lead to action, resolution and change. And as more people understand their rights and follow suit, as the human rights consciousness grows, change happens faster. The Internet has become one of the human rights community’s most powerful tools.   

At the core of the Urgent Appeals Program is the recording of human rights violations at a grass roots level with objectivity, sympathy and competence. Our information is firstly gathered on the ground, close to the victim of the violation, and is then broadcast by a team of advocates, who can apply decades of experience in the field and a working knowledge of the international human rights arena. The flow of information – due to domestic restrictions – often goes from the source and out to the international community via our program, which then builds a pressure for action that steadily makes its way back to the source through his or her own government.   However these cases in bulk create a narrative – and this is most important aspect of our program. As noted by Sri Lankan human rights lawyer and director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, Basil Fernando:

"The urgent appeal introduces narrative as the driving force for social change. This idea was well expressed in the film Amistad, regarding the issue of slavery. The old man in the film, former president and lawyer, states that to resolve this historical problem it is very essential to know the narrative of the people. It was on this basis that a court case is conducted later. The AHRC establishes the narrative of human rights violations through the urgent appeals. If the narrative is right, the organisation will be doing all right."

Patterns start to emerge as violations are documented across the continent, allowing us to take a more authoritative, systemic response, and to pinpoint the systems within each country that are breaking down. This way we are able to discover and explain why and how violations take place, and how they can most effectively be addressed. On this path, larger audiences have opened up to us and become involved: international NGOs and think tanks, national human rights commissions and United Nations bodies.  The program and its coordinators have become a well-used tool for the international media and for human rights education programs. All this helps pave the way for radical reforms to improve, protect and to promote human rights in the region.