Imprisoned: LHC orders ex-Bagram detainee’s treatment

Court informed Iftikhar Ahmed suffering from severe mental illness.


Our Correspondent July 25, 2014

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday directed the provincial government to shift a mentally ill prisoner from Sahiwal Jail to Lahore for treatment.

Iftikhar Ahmed has been in prison in Sahiwal after being released from Bagram Jail.

LHC’s Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan heard the arguments of Ahmed’s counsel, Sarah Bilal of the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP).

“Iftikhar has been suffering from severe mental illness since his detention in Bagram. His condition has deteriorated now,” the lawyer told the court.

An assistant advocate general submitted medical reports from Sahiwal Jail, confirming that Iftikhar was mentally ill and he could not be treated at the jail.

Ahmed’s counsel argued for his immediate transfer to a treatment facility. “After years of illegal detention at Bagram, he should now be properly examined, evaluated and treated for his mental illness,” she said.

The counsel criticised the US government for continuing to detain Iftikhar for years even though he was mentally ill.

“It is sad to see him subjected to further detention under inhumane conditions upon his arrival in Pakistan,” she said. “The government has extended his detention for an additional 60 days without giving any reason,” she said.

The JPP had earlier submitted an application in the court about the lack of adequate psychiatric care or treatment.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2014.

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