A ‘human rights cell’ that never was


Umer Nangiana April 28, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Rescue 15 officials told The Express Tribune on Wednesday that their office was only receiving routine emergency calls.

“There is no such thing as a human rights cell,” an official said on the condition of anonymity. Last month, the media put a spotlight on cases of police torture, causing a great deal of unrest among citizens. Senior officials of the Islamabad Police responded by issuing strict orders against the use of violence during interrogation. On March 27 this year, it was announced that a complaint cell had been established at the office of Rescue 15 on the orders of IGP Syed Kaleem Imam. Not a single complaint has been registered since.

This is because the complaint cell, despite an announcement, was never set up. Through the individual initiatives of a few police officers, however, some stations have set up a system for registering complaints. SP Industrial Area Ghafar Qaisarani said, “I have established complaints cells in the two police stations which come under my jurisdiction. Contact numbers of the DSPs and the SP are posted on notice boards outside the Industrial Area and Sabzi Mandi police stations.”

“Anyone having complaints against the staff of these police stations can contact on the given numbers,” he said. Qaisarani said he had taken action against many of his subordinates based on complaints received on these numbers. However, such a facility is not available in most police stations of the city. On March 22, a 17-year-old boy was tortured so severely that he went into a coma, from which he is yet to recover. Those responsible have not been arrested by the police even after the passage of 40 days.

His father, Sarwar Masih, accused the investigation officer of taking bribes from both parties. According to Masih, a police officer began to harass him and pressurise him to withdraw the case. When he was asked why he did not approach the “human rights violation complaint cell”, he replied that he was not aware of such a facility. “How can I go to police officers for registering complaints against the police? They will torture me if I will complain against them,” he said. There are many others like Sarwar Masih who suffer but do not complain, primarily because of fear. Many police officers admit that there is a need to shift priorities. Qaisarani said:

“The top priority should be the restoration of public confidence in the police. This is more important than bringing down the so-called crime rate.” When the complaint cell was ‘established’, there were many who lauded this step of the police. It turns out they were applauding nothing but hot air.

COMMENTS (2)

Muhammad ali | 12 years ago | Reply Lawlessness of RESCUE 1122 Management Dated 24-07-10,(Human Rights Organization) HANDS Society® came to know that an illegal penalty was going to be imposed on those Rescuers Who took part in strike on 22-07-10 concerning salary issue that there was no increment in their salaries in the current budget of 2010. When our team reached the site i.e. Rescue 1122 Headquarter,Rawal Road near Chandni Chowk, we saw that a "Hair Cutter" was cutting the hair of Rescuers and the cutting was "Katora Cut"; We tried to enter the station to have chat with Management but Management strictly banned us and stopped us outside the station but we tried our best to meet the Rescuers; at last we got that they were the part of strike that happened for the rights but management could not tolerate it and District Emergency Officer Dr.Abdul Rehman issued this order i.e. "Katora Cutting". "Media gave coverage to strike of Rescuers and today media was sleeping", these were the remarks of Rescuers. Only Nawa-e-Waqt newspaper published this cruel behaviour on 25-07-2010. It is an open violation of Human Rights. HANDS Society is playing its role for the welfare of RESCUE 1122 staff. The Society would present, on every platform, the true face of "Human Rights Violation" of Rescue 1122 Management. It is highly request, please Co-operate with us and do something for the welfare of Rescue 1122 staff who are suffering due to Rescue 1122 Management. I am waiting eagerly for you reply.
Nadir El Edroos | 12 years ago | Reply It may be helpful to publish the numbers that are being refereed to the in the article.
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