LAHORE: The civil society and progressive forces will hold a demonstration here on Friday to show solidarity with Salahuddin Ayubi, a suspected robber who died of police torture in Rahim Yar Khan a few days ago.

Member organisations and individuals of the Lahore Left Front will assemble outside the press club in the afternoon on Sept 13 to condemn the rising number of police torture cases in which several deaths in custody have been reported recently, including that of Ayubi who had been arrested over an alleged ATM theft.

The demonstrators will support the charter of demands put forth by the family of Ayubi during a meeting with Governor Chaudhry Sarwar. These included appointing a high-ranking investigation officer of at least the deputy inspector general level, and completing the inquiry in 14 days from the registration of a first information; prosecution of the accused under the anti-terrorism act with an additional prosecutor general working full time on the case.

The proposed inquiry commission should recommend revision of Police Rules 1934 to eradicate the culture of custodial torture; compensating all victims of custodial deaths equivalent to that of a policeman who dies in the line of duty; the provincial government get enacted a law against police torture, recommending the federal government to also pass Torture, Custodial Death & Custodial Rape (Prevention & Punishment) Act.

The demonstrators will also urge Islamabad to ratify the optional protocol to the Convention Against Torture.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2019