HRCP strongly condemns police violence on a peaceful demonstration at Justice Rana Bhagwandas residence

PRESS RELEASE, January 14, 2008

Karachi: In a joint statement issued to the press Mr. Iqbal Haider, Secretary General, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Ms. Zohra Yusuf, Vice Chairperson, HRCP strongly condemned the police violence against peaceful demonstrators, gathered outside the residence of Justice (R) Rana Bhagwandas, to launch their protest against his undeclared house-arrest.

It was shocking to note that, violating all norms of decency, male policemen misbehaved with women demonstrators, baton-charged male activists and arrested 08 of them.

On the evening of January 13, 2008, protesters belonging to civil society groups gathered outside the residence of Justice (R) Rana Bhagwandas situated in Block-A, in the Clifton police’s jurisdiction and started lighting candles to symbolize their protest. In the meantime, a heavy contingent of police reached the spot. Suddenly, all the streetlights were switched off and police arrested 8 civil society activists, including Mr. Kamran Noorani, Mr. Salahuddin Ahmed, Mr. Naveed Noshad, Mr. Danish, Mr. Muhammad Faisal, Mr. Syed Mustafa Rizvi, Mr. Zafar Aslam and Mr. Asad Umar. They were thrown into the waiting police mobile vans after a brief scuffle with women protesters. They were taken to Darakhshan Police Station while an FIR # 13 / 08 was registered in Clifton Police Station U/S 147 and 148. After five hours of detention, all were released on bail on personal bonds.

HRCP holds the provincial authorities fully responsible for the brutal police action against peaceful demonstrators.

HRCP demands that all politically motivated cases be withdrawn, against the activists of civil society who were exercising a democratic right through peaceful means.

Iqbal Haider
Secretary General
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Zohra Yusuf
Vice Chairperson, Sindh

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

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