LAHORE: An inquiry has been launched by the National commission on Human Rights (NCHR) over the 1500 cases of torture uncovered within the district of Faisalabad alone, a local media outlet reported on Thursday.
The Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), in collaboration with the Yale Law School had released a report titled ‘Policing as Torture: A Report on the Systematic Brutality and Torture by the Police in Faisalabad.’
The data compiled by the District Standing Medical Board in Pakistan showed clear signs of torture in 1,424 of the 1,867 cases between 2006 and 2012. In another 96 cases, signs of injury were uncovered, but medical professionals explained that further testing was necessary in order to confirm evidence of torture.
58 of the victims were children while another 134 were women, according to the data. NCHR Chairman Justice (retd) Ali Nawaz Chowhan and commissioners Fazila Aliani and Chaudhry Shafique held a hearing with the Faisalabad District Standing Medical Board representatives. The hearing was called after a complaint by the JPP.
The NCHR said they would conduct an inquiry into the matter and visit Faisalabad to hold a hearing for the victims, perpetrators and all other stakeholders in the last week of May.
“Those who commit torture should be exposed,” said Justice Chowhan as he summoned the alleged perpetrators named in the JPP report.
JPP Executive Director Barrister Sarah Belal explained that accountability mechanisms under the current laws had failed to provide justice to the victims.
In addition, it is possible that the actual number of torture victims could be much higher as Dr Khurram Raja explained that the District Standing Medical Board only observes cases referred by the courts.