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HRCP raps use of stun baton in Faisalabad

HRCP raps use of stun baton in Faisalabad

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed its serious concern over use of stun baton by officials of Faisalabad district administration and police to enforce Covid-19-related standard operating procedures (SOPs).

In a statement on Tuesday, the HRCP termed use of stun batons a flagrant violation of both Article 14 of the Constitution of Pakistan and the UN Convention Against Torture, to which the country was a signatory.

It says the use of stun batons and similar implements clearly carries state endorsement if the police have been equipped with them, even though there is no sanction for this in Pakistani law. The practice amounts to torture and the disproportionate use of force – both prohibited under international human rights instruments.

It also deplored humiliating treatment of people by police during the last lockdown.

It says the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is absolute and cannot be justified under any circumstances – including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis must not be tackled at the expense of human rights – this is not an ‘either/or’ situation, the commission adds.

HRCP strongly urges the Punjab government and Punjab police to investigate the matter and hold accountable those responsible for it.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2020

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