LAHORE: The National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) has initiated a formal inquiry into nearly 1,500 cases of torture uncovered in just one district of Punjab i.e. Faisalabad.

In response to a complaint filed by Justice Project Pakistan, detailing the widespread, systematic abuse and torture perpetuated by the Faisalabad police between 2006 and 2012, NCHR Chairman retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan and commissioners Chaudhry Shafique and Fazila Aliani held a hearing with representatives of the district standing medical board, Faisalabad, and police.

Noting serious concerns about the lack of legislation criminalising torture in Pakistan, the NCHR stated that it would be visiting Faisalabad to investigate as part of their inquiry, said a release issued by the JPP.

It said the NCHR would also be holding a hearing for victims, perpetrators and stakeholders there in the last week of May.

During the proceedings, JPP Executive Director Barrister Sarah Belal informed the NCHR that there was no redress provided to any of the victims of police torture. A report by JPP on systematic brutality and torture by police in Faisalabad district revealed conclusive signs of abuse in 1,424 cases out of a sample of 1,867 medico-legal certificates compiled by a government-appointed district standing medical board in Faisalabad during 2006 and 2012.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2018

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