Women find no respite from torture in police custody: WPF presentation | Pakistan Today

Women find no respite from torture in police custody: WPF presentation

Torture and ill treatment of women in police stations has become a routine and more than 70 per cent of the women detained at police stations with or without a charge have experienced torture, abuse or even rape. It is ironical that in majority of the cases women suffer in silence the gross injustice due to shame, fear and social stigma. The time has come to bring an end to this cruelty through all means until legislation is passed on this issue to safeguard 52 per cent of the country’s female population.
These are the comments by Ms Amina Zaman, regional director of Agency for Susutainable Development (ASD), who was speaking at the orientation meeting of Women Protection Forum (WPF) held at the CPLC office. The meeting held under the aegis of ASD was called to launch a multi-pronged programme titled “Ending torture and ill treatment of women in police custody” under the patronage of Oxfam and European Community. The programme, under the slogan of “Join us for a society without torture”, featured a variety of activities comprising baseline study, training, workshop, drafting and tabling of anti-torture bill, setting up of survivor support system, counselling of torture victims and advocacy among civil society, jails and police stations.
The orientation meeting was attended by representatives from all walks of life, including lawyers, journalists, police officers, CPLC officials, medical practitioners, NGO workers, political activists and members of civil society. Amina Zaman gave a detailed presentation on the main objectives of the project. “The overall objective of the orientation is to create awareness and ensure improvement in the observance of women’s rights in Pakistan. We seek the community support in actions aimed at preventing torture and ill treatment and are looking forward to draw out a strategy to assist the torture victims towards their rehabilitation,” she remarked. “However, our specific objective is improved treatment of the female victims of violence by the law-enforcement agents and better living conditions for women in the police custody and shelter homes,” she added.
She revealed during the presentation that a number of women prisoners and Dar-ul-Amn inmates would be provided with legal counselling, legal aid, stress management sessions and skill training. “Our other target groups included 200 officials from police, jails and Dar ul Amn in addition to lawyers, judges and civil society organisations’ members,” she announced. She was determined to achieve the desired results in the awareness campaign. On this occasion, a core group of WPF was formed to participate in the upcoming training of trainers’ programme. The members included group leader, Amina Zaman, Sakina Chaudhary advocate, Ahmed Faisal (CPLC), Chaudhry Farakh Shahzad, Farzana Chaudhry and Naseem Anthony.

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