ISLAMABAD: The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) during a comprehensive visit to Adiala jail on Saturday found no evidence of inhuman or derogatory treatment of detained political workers.

The team was visiting the jail in response to reports of alleged torture and inhumane treatment of the political workers.

NCHR said that the visit aimed to investigate the veracity of these allegations, to gauge the conditions of confinement, whether such prisoners had been tortured or not, and to check on the medical records of the prisoners to ascertain whether they were screened for illnesses or denied any of their rights and privileges as per law.

In a statement the NCHR said perusal of the medical reports of women who had been arrested and were no longer in jail revealed that during screening (prior to incarceration) some bruises, few abrasions and in one case a fractured finger was recorded in the jail register.

The commission said the team interviewed the detained political workers who expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the jail staff.

However, they raised concerns about the non-provision of facilities such a mattress, TV, and newspaper.

The NCHR oversight team to the jail comprised Rana Ghulam Murtaza, who is secretary NCHR, Mian Waqar Ahmed, Law Officer, NCHR and members of civil society including Barrister Sarah Belal, Barrister Maneha of Justice Project Pakistan and Safdar Chaudhary of HRCP.

Findings of the committee revealed that there were currently 300 protesters incarcerated in Adiala jail. Of the 26 female detainees, all except one, had been released.

The protesters who had been arrested were being kept in barracks along with other prisoners. Most of these prisoners were unable to afford legal representation and were facing difficulty in this regard. One major concern raised by the prisoners was regarding cancellations of court hearings.

Two senior political leaders, who were detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), had been held in separate cells.

The female barracks were found to be clean and spacious. NCHR said that it would continue to monitor the situation and work towards safeguarding the rights and welfare of detainees in jail and would be sharing other jail reports as well.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2023

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