Top human rights body wants to inspect NAB detention centres

Published December 25, 2018
NCHR has told NAB high-ups to allow a team of the commission to inspect places of detention of NAB. — File photo
NCHR has told NAB high-ups to allow a team of the commission to inspect places of detention of NAB. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chowhan, has taken suo motu notice of death of Mian Javed, former chief executive officer of the Lahore sub-campus of the Sargodha University, in jail custody.

The NCHR has told the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) high-ups to allow a team of the commission to inspect places of detention of NAB.

Mr Javed had been in jail on judicial remand in connection with the university’s illegal campuses case since October. Last week, he complained of chest pain and was shifted to the Services Hospital, Lahore, for treatment but could not survive.

According to a statement issued by the NCHR, the deceased was under investigation by NAB’s Lahore office.

Owing to the gravity of the incident, the commission took the suo motu notice of the matter under the NCHR Act, 2012.

The commission, while showing displeasure over the incident, has asked top NAB officials to send a comprehensive report to the office on or before Dec 31, for necessary action under Section 9 of the NCHR Act, 2012.

“The commission also invoked jurisdiction under the provisions of Section 9c of the NCHR Act, 2012, and sought inspection of NAB’s places of detention.

As pictures of the deceased in chains went viral on social and mainstream media, the commission asked NAB high-ups to allow NCHR team to inspect places of detention of NAB as soon as possible and a date and time be fixed for this purpose because that is the mandate of NCHR to protect and promote human rights,” the NCHR said.

“The commission does not want to intervene in proceedings of any of the institutions, but for the purpose of protection of human rights, the commission is exercising its jurisdiction which is so granted under the NCHR Act, 2012,” it stated.

The Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Shahbaz Sharif, recently claimed that he had been kept in a room where it was not possible to tell whether it was day or night.

Former vice chancellor of Punjab University Prof Mujahid Kamran, in an interview, had also alleged that there were CCTV cameras in washrooms of NAB’s lockup.

However, NAB has denied such allegations.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2018

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