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

Published: February 20, 2011
US expresses displeasure at non-cooperation. PHOTO: FILE

US expresses displeasure at non-cooperation. PHOTO: FILE

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.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Feb 20, 2011 - 3:51PM

    America helped its ‘diplomat’ who was involved in the hit and run incident from the country, and refused to handover the vehicle used in the incident. The Punjab police termed that as non-cooperation.

    So why should the Punjab government comply with the American request? The Americans helped a murderer to flee, the Punjab police is making sure the other murderer stays put.Recommend

  • Feb 20, 2011 - 8:30PM

    This is now just a political issue now. The people of Pakistan want Raymond Davis on trial and eventually convicted of Murder. All the political parties realize that this issue is like fire. They can not go against the wishes of the people. If they do, the they face the threat of being irrelevant. They are trying their best to capitalize on the peoples anger and make political points by appearing to take a hardline stance on Raymond DavisRecommend

  • Azad
    Feb 20, 2011 - 8:43PM

    Second that Hamza.Recommend

  • AM
    Feb 20, 2011 - 9:49PM

    @sick of pakis: Then why is the US so scared of letting him stand trial?Recommend

  • Mulla Toofhan
    Feb 20, 2011 - 10:09PM

    @ Sick of Pakis,

    Well, Pakistan is not exactly Raymond Davis’s training ground, He was well aware of the dangers associated with his mission, He just screwed up and now paying the price for it. He is certainly not innocent which the American media is trying to portray him as such. Killing Two people without hesitation say much about him. He could have easily knocked of the Bike, but NO he chose to show off his shooting skill,
    If this happened in your country you wouldn’t have put him up in a Five star hotel. Bottom line is He broke the Law so he has to face the charges. You may be sick of Pakis but the world is sick of you.Recommend

  • Victor Ostrovsky
    Feb 20, 2011 - 10:58PM

    Raymond Alien Davis is a MOSSAD operative and Obama is under severe pressure from Tel Aviv to liberate this agent who was handing over nuclear and biological material to criminals in pakistan in guise of cement to create a much bigger war between US/NATO and Pakistan.

    He will be held till he breaks down completely and US should handover the car driver because it is a true strategic ally as it has claimed many times.

    Everyone should FORGET about Raymond Devils now.

    Why didnt the Lahore police create a cordon around the consulate and screen every american leaving pakistan within seconds of the incident ?!!!

    VICTOR OSTROVSKY – Thou shall win by deception.Recommend

  • Victor Ostrovsky
    Feb 20, 2011 - 11:02PM

    The US Consulate should act in a civilized manner and handover the HIT-AND-RUN traffic criminal to the Lahore police.

    The Los Angeles Police (LAPD) does not forgive any criminal and goes after them with HELICOPTERS chasing them for miles on the freeways of California and in USA.

    Yanquis should also respect the law or be prepared to face the accusation of being RACISTS.Recommend

  • dr pakhtun
    Feb 20, 2011 - 11:15PM

    @ sick of pakis.
    What kind of diplomacy was Raymond David doing in Mozang chowngi? Or was there for some” technical” job that his consulate has hired him for? He may have fire in self defense, but he was at a place where he was not supposed to be. That raises all the red flags.Recommend

  • parvez
    Feb 20, 2011 - 11:16PM

    If this was a situation from a John le Carre spy novel it would read something like this:
    Davis a CIA operative has been compromised in the city of Lahore in the worlds most dangerous country Pakistan. The local police holding Davis are concerned and rightly so that his handlers would be contemplating neutralizing him as Davis may soon prove to be an embarrassing liability. In the shady world of espionage nothing is impossible. Davis has been out in the cold for too long he should have been brought in earlier. But that’s another story.
    John le Carre is one of the best authors of spy fiction.Recommend

  • Salman
    Feb 21, 2011 - 1:29AM

    It only shows how pathetic pakistani leaders are. Total sell-out and Paksitani nation is quiet. Baffles my mind that this nation is sound asleep. Recommend

  • Salman
    Feb 21, 2011 - 1:33AM

    @sick of pakis who told you to come to paksitan. Levae Paksitan otherwise your 150k idiots in afghanistan who are pathetically fighting for 10 years will see the same fate. Recommend

  • wahab
    Feb 21, 2011 - 2:54AM

    Thanks God we dont have PPP or MQM government in Punjab, If such an incident had happened in KHI, he would have got frred even before incident would had caught media attention.. Recommend

  • Midnight Drummer
    Feb 21, 2011 - 3:04AM

    @sick of pakis:
    Even Western based media question and doubt the veracity of the claim that the two people slained did not point their guns at Mr, Davis, let alone loading it to the chambers.

    BBC – Lahore shootings – unanswered questionsRecommend

  • Blithe / Shaikh
    Feb 21, 2011 - 3:25AM

    It is most peculiar that the US Counsulate is asking for the removal of the cameras.
    Are they planning a prision break??? And why the hell is an unhinged man like RD (God knows what his actual name is) doing with a cell phone and “an antenna used for satellite communication”? What is going on here? Why are the other cells not occupied?

    Punjab Police, what is going on?
    Rana Sanullah, you need to look into this. Recommend

  • Irshad
    Feb 21, 2011 - 7:47AM

    He killed two robbers, one of whom even had a warrant in his name. Davis deserves a reward rather than incarceration. The least Government of Pakistan can do is let him go free. Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2011 - 7:58AM

    I dont think they should remove the surveillance…Recommend

  • Asif
    Feb 21, 2011 - 8:29AM

    Pakistani prosecutors accuse the spy of excessive force, saying he fired 10 shots and got out of his car to shoot one man twice in the back as he fled. The man’s body was found 30 feet from his motorbike.

    “It went way beyond what we define as self-defence. It was not commensurate with the threat,” said a senior police official involved in the case.Recommend

  • tamzz
    Feb 21, 2011 - 9:51AM

    you are sick!! @sick of pakis: Recommend

  • Sick of dummies
    Feb 21, 2011 - 10:05AM

    He killed two dudes, one of whom may have been fleeing when shot. If that’s the case, Mr Davis a murderer. I’m a US vet who has little sympathy for extremism generally, Islamic fundamentalism specifically, or terrorism ever, and it seems possible to me that this was a highly strung CIA cowboy who used excessive force. If that is the case, he should be tried for murder.Recommend

  • Majid Nasim Ahmad
    Feb 21, 2011 - 1:02PM

    I salute the Punjab government that it is refusing to remove surveillance cameras. This will ensure that the US consulate officials who come to meet him don’t come to rescue him illegally like in some Hollywood-style movie. Now, the Punjab government has also decided to get the food that Raymond Davis receives from the US consulate checked by specialized doctors, so they don’t try to kill him and destroy the evidence they may gather from him by putting him on trial (I think).Recommend

  • karachiite
    Feb 21, 2011 - 1:20PM

    @Irshad:one of whom even had a warrant in his name

    source?? secondly if he is innocent let him prove it in the court! on one hand people condemn vigilante justice such as Sialkot incident on other try to justify murder (shot in the back) in vigilante form just cause the perpetrator was the over lord .. talk about dual standards

    @Sick of Pakis: Your logic is idiotic. yeah right your argument of the victim trying to kidnap a guy in a car from a bike while being parked ahead of him and being shot in the back is totally logicalRecommend

  • MOLVI_whisky
    Feb 21, 2011 - 10:55PM

    I find it most amusing, 2 armed robbers try rob an American seated in a car. Both get shot in the back – apparently trying to flee for their lives. 2 guns somehow get reported after event, without the finger prints of robbers. Seems like another CIA episode gone wrong.Recommend

  • rat con
    Feb 22, 2011 - 6:06AM

    The ISI should probably just stop supporting terrorist activities in Afghanistan. India is not trying to surround Pakistan, you can stop using the Taliban.Recommend

  • rat con
    Feb 22, 2011 - 6:14AM

    Salman — Your movement is dieing, you are now confined to one region of a one nation. There will never be another Taliban Afghanistan whether it be in Afghanistan or in Pakistan. Capitalism will plague all regions of the world, if not in this generation it will be the next. Just accept it and stop the killing.Recommend

  • expat
    Feb 22, 2011 - 2:12PM

    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.Recommend

  • Rizwan Akhter
    Feb 22, 2011 - 7:54PM

    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.Recommend

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