Detention rights: Petition filed against man’s custodial death

Brother of acquitted man who died in spy agencies’ custody files case in Lahore High Court.

Mudassir Raja August 23, 2011


Muhammad Amir – who was taken into custody by the intelligence agencies in May last year – allegedly died while in custody on August 15 and his brother has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) to register the murder case.

The petitioner, Muhammad Bilal, brother of the 25-year-old deceased – who had been acquitted after being tried on four different terrorism cases – has also urged the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC to order the exhumation of the dead body and its post mortem report.

Justice Sardar Tariq Masood on Monday directed the deputy attorney general (DAG) to get a response from the director general (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) regarding the petition of Bilal and directed to send a response to the court on August 29.

Alleging DG ISI and the Rawalpindi police as responsible, Bilal said that last year personnel of the country’s top spy agency took Amir into custody with 10 other men from Adiala jail after their detention orders were set aside by the high court.

In response to his petition, Bilal said that the lawyer representing the intelligence agencies earlier informed the Supreme Court that 11 men were in the custody of the agency after they were detained from operative areas of FATA and they would be tried under army laws.

It was on August 15 that Bilal received a call and was informed that the body of his brother was received at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. The petitioner revealed that he was informed at the LRH that Amir’s body had been shifted from the Peshawar Combined Military Hospital.

Bilal further told the high court that the doctors at the LRH refused to carry out the post mortem of his brother and he had no other option but to bring the body to Rawalpindi. Consequently, he buried the body the next day. The petitioner said the body of his brother had marks of severe injuries.

He added that the families of the detained men were not allowed to meet them despite the Supreme Court orders.

Bilal said they filed a petition with the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench for the recovery of the detained men as there was no criminal case pending against them. These men had been acquitted in four different terrorism cases by the trial courts.

The other detained men included Dr Niaz Ahmed, Mazaharul Haq, Shafiqur Rehman, Abdul Majid, Abdul Saboor, Abdul Basit, Tehseenullah, Said Arab, Gul Roze and Muhammad Shafique. All of them were acquitted in four different terrorism cases.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.