Beating up protesters is not the answer: HRCP

Lahore, November 25: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has censured the merciless beating and ill-treatment of nurses protesting for their rights by police in Lahore on Thursday and called upon the government to be more imaginative and less heavy-handed in dealing with the people’s peaceful demands for their rights.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Commission said: “HRCP notes with concern and much distress the manner in which nurses protesting for their rights outside the Punjab Assembly in Lahore were beaten up on Thursday. It is a matter of grave concern that police used batons without restraint to disperse the protesters and it matters little whether the attackers were policemen or policewomen. The police action was manifestly ruthless and disproportionate to any ‘hazard’ the nurses were deemed to be causing. But this is not an isolated incident confined to any particular city or province of the country. Protesting teachers in Balochistan, and employees of the country’s biggest telecommunication company as well as gas department employees, among countless others have been dealt with in a similarly harsh manner even when they were not posing any threat to public security. The government must find a better method of dealing with these things and try listening to the people’s demands rather than focusing on the use of force to disperse those who come out on the streets to demand their rights.

”Zohra Yusuf

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