HRCP appalled by brutal torture on prisoners

Lahore, October 11: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed outrage at inhuman torture and humiliation of several death row prisoners at the Toba Tek Singh District Prison as well as official indifference to demands for an inquiry.

A press statement issued by the Commission said on Monday: “HRCP is alarmed at credible reports of brutal torture on prisoners in Toba Tek Singh District Prison. According to HRCP’s information, around a month ago, the jail staff had started a search of cells of death-row prisoners at 11pm, ostensibly to recover mobile phones. Many prisoners were brought out of their cells and beaten up. However, the treatment of three prisoners was particularly harrowing. The prisoners—Muzzammil Shah s/o Imdad Shah, Ghulam Hussain s/o Gul Sher and Javed s/o Allah Dita—are alleged to have been stripped naked and a prison dispenser taped the male organ of each of the three prisoners in such a manner that they could not urinate. Each was then allegedly forced to drink between three and four litres of water.

The three prisoners were subsequently administered injections by the dispenser after which they started vomiting and had a strong urge to urinate but obviously could not. The tape was only removed four hours later. The three prisoners developed renal ailments as a result of the torture and one has also developed infection of the urinary tract.

No less disturbing is the impervious attitude of government officials to public complaints. Even though HRCP brought the incident to the attention of the Punjab prison chief around a fortnight ago, a request for an inquiry has not elicited any response. Such apathetic response from public servants must be condemned in the strongest possible words. HRCP calls for an open judicial inquiry to thoroughly probe the matter with a view to bringing to justice all the perpetrators, not least because of Pakistan’s ratification earlier this year of the Convention against Torture and the reported participation of a medical personnel in the torture on the three prisoners.

HRCP also calls upon the government to immediately order medical examination of the three prisoners and provision of appropriate medical assistance to them.”
Dr. Mehdi Hasan


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