HRCP urges end to endemic torture

Press Release, 25 June 2009

LAHORE: The use of torture by state agents continues to be endemic despite Islamabad’s signing of the Convention Against Torture and this situation must end, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said.

In a statement issued on the eve of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26), HRCP said, “While signing the Convention Against Torture in April last year, Pakistan had expressed its commitment to ensure that torture would become a thing of the past. Yet torture remains endemic in Pakistan and has in fact increased as a result of the so-called war on terror, even though international human rights law explicitly states that neither higher orders nor exceptional circumstances can justify torture.

Also, in the absence of proper investigation techniques in the country, those tasked with investigation of crime rely almost exclusively on torture to extract confessions.

Pakistan must take meaningful steps to guarantee due respect for human person by outlawing torture. Those guilty of it must be prosecuted and punished. As first steps in this direction the Convention Against Torture should be ratified forthwith and domestic legislation necessary for its implementation must be undertaken on priority basis.”

I. A. Rehman

Secretary General

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