Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Filled Under:

Interview with Basseer Naweed

How is torture practiced in Pakistan? (Baseer Naweed)

Torture is very common in Pakistan. It generally happens during the detention .They torture to get confessions or bribes. At present there is no law which criminalizes torture in the country. Torture is a common occurrence because the authorities know that they would not be brought before the court.

Do people who are tortured by the police dare make complaints?

Generally for those who are brave, their family members make complaint. We have statistics of torture victims. Every year more than 1300 people are tortured and they are the people who complain to the police. But how can the police officers register a case against themselves? It is because of this that they don’t allow the people to make complaints. So people who are tortured by the police do not complaint generally because no one can take care of them.

Is there any HR organization that works in inside Pakistan? What are their main activities?

Yes, they collect the information about human rights violations. However, even the activists don’t know much about the issue of torture. The Asian Human Rights Commission works does a lot of work on that issue. There is no such move in the country against the torture, no one is working on the law which should prohibit the torture.

As a staff of the AHRC, what do you do for the people who are tortured by the police?

Actually those people who are tortured by police contact the AHRC directly themselves. We are very successful in documenting torture which should be more focused in Pakistan.

What are the difficulties have you faced on human rights or torture issue in your country?

People don’t want to narrate the stories of torture because whenever they tell the story, the police punish them again. Any how we just sent the activist to collect the story saying that we will not mention his or her name .That is the difficulties we have faced generally. Under the constitution and law, whoever goes before the court, the judge should ask the accused person whether he or she was tortured. The court judges and police work so closely that they don’t ask it. No investigation has even been initiated from the court against the torture. That is also another weakness of the courts.

Does Pakistani think torture is a crime?

Yes, they think torture is a crime. But they don’t know the law. When I was in a meeting last year, I asked many lawyers about torture issues but they don’t know anything about that. When the police officer tortures someone in front of the public, the others try to stop it but the person who tries would be beaten. Actually it’s because of the absence of the law against torture that the police and law enforcement enjoy the power. They created the fear psychosis in the society by using their power.

What is your future plan for Pakistani as a staff from HR organizations?

HR organization should work on the torture issue. HR organizations do the work of compiling and most of them are lawyers. We have pointed out that there are more than 52 tortures centres run by the military. Even in the high court they don’t take action about the torture cases. We work much more on sensitization of the issue of torture. We try to make the torture issue a priority issue. We have to work much more so that there should be a movement in Pakistan against torture and against unlimited law enforcement agencies. We try our best.


Post a Comment