Raymond Davis’ security: Punjab govt refuses to remove surveillance cameras

Punjab govt says it will not remove surveillance cameras in the high security cell where Raymond Davis is confined.

Anwer Sumra February 20, 2011

LAHORE: Refusing to accept a request by the US Consulate in Lahore, the Punjab government on Saturday said it will not remove surveillance cameras in the high security cell where double murder accused Raymond Davis is confined.

The consulate had earlier made a verbal request to remove the cameras. After refusal by the Punjab government, the consulate expressed displeasure over non-cooperation, said a home department official requesting anonymity.

The US official reportedly has access to a refrigerator, mobile phone and an antenna used for satellite communication, which is a violation of the Punjab Prisons Rules of 2010.

Davis is being kept in a high-security cell at the Central Jail Kot Lakhpat in Lahore. The jail department, on the instructions of the home department, has installed surveillance cameras in all high security cells in various jails. Special security guards are also deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

Earlier, inmates of a defunct organisation had been confined to 22 cells at the same jail, but they were shifted to various other jails for security reasons. Currently, 21 cells are empty.

According to the ruling of the apex court and prison rules, the home secretary cannot allow any inmate charged or convicted in heinous crimes, including murder, a home department official said. Such facilities are not even allowed to ordinary prisoners under the direction of the apex court, he added.

Mobile phone use has been declared a crime by the home department, but in Davis’ case it was provided without authorisation, a jail department official said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2011.


Rizwan Akhter | 10 years ago | Reply The Punjab government has played a particularly dubious, nay devious, role from the outset. It pressurized the local police to arrest Mr Davis instead of verifying his diplomatic immunity and letting him go. It exploited anti-Americanism to embarrass the PPP government in Islamabad by putting the onus of responsibility for claiming diplomatic immunity on it. It nominated a public prosecutor who deliberately falsified information to enrage popular passions. The federal government, meanwhile, has been craven, inefficient and defensive to the point of opportunism. The end result is that US-Pak relations have soured significantly at a time when neither side can afford to be distracted from the main issues at hand.
expat | 10 years ago | Reply Maybe the US govt wants the cameras removed so they can take care of Davis before he starts talking. Bet that guy knows enough to trade for his life.
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