ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah on Tuesday expressed concerns over inhuman treatment of prisoners in Rawalpindi’s Central Jail Adiala and termed it a concentration camp.
The IHC chief justice was hearing a petition filed by Imtiaz Bibi in which she leveled allegation of custodial torture on her son. Justice Minallah had last week visited the jail along with the district and sessions judges of Islamabad.
On Tuesday, the chief justice perused reports from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on the allegation of torture. He observed: “The reports submitted by representatives of the Commission and PIMS show that the grave allegations mentioned in the petition, were, prima facie, not baseless. The confidential report submitted on the last date of hearing indicates as though the Central Prison, Rawalpindi is being managed as a ‘concentration camp’ rather being governed under the law enforced to regulate the prison.” It may be mentioned that “the term concentration camp refers to a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions.”
The court observed: “It appears that the prisoners are being treated in an inhuman manner that amounts to grave violation of human rights.”
Subsequently, the court directed the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) to probe the complaints about violation of human rights and negligence by the public servants in prevention of such grave violations.
Secretary Ministry of Human Rights Afzal Latif told the court that measures had been taken to implement the recommendation of the court regarding jail reforms.
He said the commission constituted to implement these recommendations will convene its meeting shortly. The court put off further hearing of the case till October 25.
Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2022