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MNA Jamshed Dasti says being subjected to forced starvation, torture by police

Updated June 29, 2017

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Jamshed Dasti talks to media from a prison vehicle.

Awami Raj Party MNA Jamshed Ahmed Dasti, who was remanded for six days to police custody on June 23, has alleged that he is being tortured and starved by police in Multan Central Jail.

In a disturbing video broadcast Thursday, Dasti could be seen apparently breaking down and pleading for help through the grilled windows of a prison vehicle.

The seemingly agitated Dasti claimed that he had been severely beaten by police and deprived of food for six days, and that rats and scorpions were often released into his jail cell as a means of torturing him.

Member of National Assembly Jamshed Dasti.
Member of National Assembly Jamshed Dasti.

"As soon as I got out of jail, they caught me again," the MNA added, referring to the events preceding his arrest.

Last week, Dasti had been arrested by police minutes before he was scheduled to be released from Multan Central Jail after an Anti-Terrorism Court approved his bail application in a different case.

A Muzaffargarh police team had arrested Dasti in a case Civil Lines police had registered against him back in his hometown.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Shahbaz Ahmed had allowed six-day judicial remand of the accused.

Dasti alleged that he had been framed and false cases had been registered against him. "I am not at fault, I am a poor man. They drag me and beat me," he added.

Appealing to the CJP to take notice of his ill-treatment, Dasti added that his sister was battling with stage three cancer and his mother, too, was unwell.

"They have tortured me so much ... I have not been able to sleep for five days," he said.

"This is a democracy, we are no longer under the rule of [Gen Parvez] Musharraf. Take suo motu notice and call me [to court]," Dasti said, addressing the CJP and Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.

Imran Khan criticises government

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has criticised the government for Jamshed Dasti's mistreatment in prison and demanded that steps be taken to release the MNA.

"The torment of Jamshed Dasti in prison is shameful and cruel," Khan said in an official statement issued by the party.

"Steps should be taken to stop this abuse against Jamshed Dasti and work towards his release," he added.

Khan also tweeted his condemnation. "Disgusting! Fascism of Sharifs as they carry forward their political godfather Zia's dictatorial legacy while feigning sincerity," he said in a tweet.