Lawyer and daughter of former Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Imaan Mazari is winning praise on social media for exposing the custodial torture of Islamabad police.
According to the details, Imaan Mazari – who is extremely vocal about human rights abuses – was at a G9 police station for journalist Asad Toor’s car accident case when she heard screams coming from a small room in the SHO’s office. Upon investigation, Imaan Mazari allegedly saw SHO Irshad brutally beating a man in custody.
“The man was lying on the floor and SHO Irshad was stepping on his face,” Imaan Mazari claimed. A video of the incident is going viral. In the video, Imaan Mazari can be seen in a heated argument with the SHO where she accused him of custodial torture.
Thank God there were multiple witnesses other than me who heard the screams. This SHO Irshad has no business being on the police force. @ICT_Police must take action https://t.co/QMPfREJn31
— Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir (@ImaanZHazir) October 7, 2022
Condemnations are pouring in for the incident. Leading journalists are demanding an inquiry and demanding answers from the police.
Read more: Imaan Mazari, Shiffa Yousafzai slam each other on Twitter
“Chief Justice Islamabad High Court must order an inquiry and persuade police to bring out the details of the man/boy this SHO was beating in custody – without such strong action, Islamabad will become FATA,” senior journalist Moeed Pirzada said.
Chief Justice Islamabad High Court must order an Enquiry & persuade police to bring out the details of the man/boy this SHO was beating in custody – without such strong action, Islamabad will become FATA! https://t.co/gv4Z4pOVvx
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) October 7, 2022
Jawab do!! @ICT_Police https://t.co/RYYqRLiIM9
— Mariam's Madness (@MaddyWithKhan) October 8, 2022
On the other hand, Imaan Mazari is also winning praise on social media for bravely countering the SHO and exposing police brutality.
“Heartening to see Imaan Mazari expose these officers. The possibility of police terror shapes the consciousness of every middle-class and working-class Pakistani. There should be a mass campaign to end police torture. There cannot be any liberation without freedom from the police state,” one Twitter user wrote.
Heartening to see Iman Mazari expose these officers. The possibility of police terror shapes the consciousness of every middle class and working class Pakistani. There should be mass campaign to end police torture. There cannot be any liberation without freedom from police state. https://t.co/TXmE3PfTtV
— Ammar Ali Jan (@ammaralijan) October 8, 2022
Bravo , imán mazari ,keep exposing these Black sheeps
— Dr.JavedMD (@latino5192) October 7, 2022
@ImanMazari More power to you. Be the same Iman forever! https://t.co/Ooj9dZNPt9
— Ameer Sajidi || امیر ساجدی (@Ameerr_Sajidi) October 7, 2022
Custodial torture in Islamabad: Implications for Pakistan?
This is not the first time that security authorities have come under fire for custodial torture. In August, PTI leader Shahbaz Gill revealed that he was tortured and sexually assaulted when he was in police custody for sedition charges. Similarly, TV anchor Jameel Farooqui also claimed torture and sexual assault while in police custody.
The increasing cases of police brutality have raised alarm in Pakistan. If custodial torture can happen in Islamabad, which is the capital and the hub of the country’s legal structure, one can only imagine what goes on in the lesser developed parts of the country like Balochistan and interior Sindh. Such areas do not even have a strong media presence that can expose police brutality.
Important to note that the Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Friday unanimously passed the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Bill, 2022.
In the past, parliament has passed various statutes and brought amendments to restrain police from acting brutally and outlaw their practice of deliberately inflicting injury on suspects, however, their interrogation procedures have never changed, owing to poor implementation of laws by the executive.
Read more: Journalists condemn arrest of TV anchor Jameel Farooqui
Moreover, such acts of police brutality can have serious implications for Pakistan. For instance, Pakistan is seeking an extension in its GSP-plus status, however, GSP+ beyond 2023 is possible for Pakistan after ensuring the European Union that all efforts to show compliance with the high requirements, including human rights issues, are being made.
The international community has already taken note of human rights violations in Pakistan. Last month, Members of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) called on the Pakistan government to undertake timely reforms and legislative changes on human rights issues and translate them into concrete improvements.