Advocacy group: Amnesty urges swift trial of Sialkot lynching case

In a letter to the law ministry, the group says justice is vital for rule of law.

Express August 26, 2011

LAHORE: Human rights advocacy group Amnesty International has called upon Pakistan to ensure a prompt, fair and transparent trial of the accused in the Sialkot lynching case.

“Ensuring the accountability of all those directly or indirectly involved in the incident, including police officials, is integral to maintaining the rule of law,” says a five-page letter written by Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director, to Law Minister Maula Bux Chandio.

Copies of the letter have also been sent to the chief justice of the SC and the Punjab Chief Minister, sources said.

The incident, which took place in August last year, led to widespread condemnation locally and internationally. Footage of the incident, showed policemen standing on the sidelines as a mob mercilessly lynched brothers Mughees, 19, and Muneeb, 16, with iron rods at Doburji Chowk in Sialkot. Members of the mob accused the brothers of being robbers but a judicial inquiry ordered by the Supreme Court found the boys were innocent.

“After the footage was broadcast on national television, 11 police officials and 17 others were arrested on suspicion of involvement. The case is currently before a special anti-terrorism court in Gujranwala,” the letter says.

“Pakistani authorities must ensure members of the police who failed to prevent the lynching and those who carried it out are brought to justice in fair trials, which comply with international human rights standards, without recourse to the death penalty,” the letter says.

Public outrage had led to suspension of DPO Waqas Chohan, who was the Sialkot police chief at the time of the incident, but he has now been transferred to Islamabad.

After receiving the letter, Punjab chief minister secretariat has ordered the provincial home department secretary to respond to Amnesty International. The home department has referred the matter to additional inspector general of Punjab Police, sources said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th,  2011.


Mohammad Akram | 12 years ago | Reply

Brutal killings of two boys by mobs in front of public and policemen stood watching was so infamous that there are no appropriate words to use for that incident. Just condemnation is nothing SC has been right to take a Suo Moto action because CM Punjab and all responsible failed to take required action. All are punished and will certainly lave a lesson for others to refrain taking law into own hands. This kind of brutality is not accepted in any country. It was a jungle scene when boys were killed. Eyes can't believe what we all saw in the entire world. Pakisstani government's head must have been down with shame. SC will give appropriate punishments and family of the murdered boys will have some kind of comfort but no one can bring two sons back. We are all ashamed of that incident.

I KHAN | 12 years ago | Reply

This was something that really shocked the society not only within Pakistan but also outside the country throughout the world. The international community was outrageous and this was published in the world communities. No matter what these boys did or did not no one is allowed to take the law in his own hands. By doing so you not only kill the people but also the whole structure of the society which is extremely perishable for human being. I sincerely hope that the RIGHT people have been punished and in that case no mercy should be awarded to anyone. The police man responsible must also be punished stricter as they are primarily responsible for this lynching. I am sure this was not for the first time every happened in Pakistan but certainly for the first time recorded by the media and shown on the screens. I have been advocate myself in Sialkot and feel extremely ashamed that this horrible incident happened in my city. I could not eat anything for two days after I watched the film of this brutality. Still unbelievable! Best regards, I Khan

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