The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has raised alarm over the torture of political workers by Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) police and security agencies for protesting against the quality of food in Gilgit Jail.
“Reports of alleged torture of at least five political activists in the Gilgit Jail are exceedingly worrying and hint at the authorities’ stubborn refusal to learn from past mistakes,” an HRCP statement said on Saturday.
The five activists, who have been in prison for several months, continue to face harsh treatment for protesting against the poor quality of food and delay in hearing of cases of prisoners in the jail, it stated.
The political activists have been incarcerated for protesting on behalf of the victims of forced displacement on account of the Attabad landslide in January 2010. On April 28, the five activists were reportedly visited in jail by police and security agencies and tortured on the dubious charge of leading a protest in prison. One of the activists, Baba Jan, is said to have suffered two broken fingers and injuries to his head and other parts of his body.
“It is a matter of concern that despite a local court’s order he and other activists have not been examined by a doctor and have not been hospitalised in violation of the court’s order. Attempts to lodge cases against the security personnel who tortured them have also not been successful,” the commission noted.
HRCP said that the authorities must surely have known the futility of such tactics as well as of creating an aura of impunity for excesses.
The HRCP has demanded that those accused of torturing the inmates should be suspended pending investigation and those found guilty be punished under the law.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.