KARACHI, Oct 22: Around 5,800 people committed suicides owing to unemployment, poverty and depression during the first nine months of this year in the country.

This was revealed in a report on human rights issued by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Pakistan, on Sunday. Carrying figures from January to September 2006, the report shows an average of 483 suicides every month in the country.

As many as 5,282 people were killed. About 385 were killed in police encounters and in prisons while about 2,100 women were molested. About 818 men and women were victimised on the pretext of honour killing while as many as 3,100 children were sexually harassed or abused.

The report claimed street crimes were on the rise across the country as more than 2,500 mobile phones and about 300 vehicles were either snatched or stolen every day. The crime rate in Karachi is the highest with over 500 cellphones snatchings everyday but majority of people avoid lodging complaint with police and only 50 to 70 FIRs are registered daily. About 40 to 50 vehicles are snatched daily in Karachi.

About 90,000 jail inmates are languishing in 87 overcrowded prisons of the country. As many as 200 people are missing presently, including workers of religious parties and Baloch people, who are suspected to be in the detention of agencies. In this regard, petitions of some persons are pending in the court.

About 21 cases of manhandling of journalists were reported during 2006 while a cameraman of KTN and a journalist Hidayatullah Khan were killed. Three senior journalists of ARY Wudood Mushtaq, cameraman Zahid Azeem and Nazir Awan were physically tortured and a reporter of The News Shakeel Anjum was implicated in false triple murder case in Rawalpindi. The transmission of ARY was also blocked due to its news about arrests of its journalists which was an open violation of freedom of expression, the report says.

As many as 6,000 Baloch people were detained following the killing of veteran Baloch leader Nawab Akber Bugti. Although a majority of them was released later but according to the committee’s report more than 100 people are still in detention of the agencies.

Human trafficking groups are also active in the country as this year’s figure of illegal emigrants is more than 15,000.

A survey of areas hit by 8th October earthquake revealed that the affected people of Muzaffarabad, Balakot, Mirpur, Mansehra and Bagh are on the same position where they were the previous year. Affectees complained that aid was not being disbursed in a transparent way. There is no accountability procedure for billions of dollars that came in the name of aid from foreign donors.—PPI