June 27, 2020

By Baseer Qalandar


Thousands of citizens protested across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Friday, against police torture. Coincidentally Friday also marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on Friday, June 26.

Multiple incidents of torture in police custody have surfaced in various districts of KP recently including Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Shangla and Khyber. A demonstration was held against the most recent incident where hundreds of people gathered around the KP Assembly demanding justice for Rafiullah alias Amir of Tehkal. Amir was tortured and paraded naked by the police in the provincial capital. Citizens were outraged when a video of the incident went viral on social media.

The provincial government has suspended four officers including Tehkal SHO Shehryar Khan, Phandi IHS Zairullah, Tehkal FC Naeem and Tauseef but no action has been taken against a senior cop who was allegedly involved in the said incident of torture.

Regional director on Human Rights, Ghulam Ali said it is hard to say that any particular district has more cases of torture because these are isolated incidents of Peshawar, DI Khan, Khyber and Shangla. “I am not saying it has not happened in other districts but it is possible that the reporting channels of those districts are weak and there may be cases of torture happening there,” said Ali while talking to Voicepk.net.

After the incident, Amir had also tried to commit suicide, but was saved by timely intervention.

A few days ago a minor in DI Khan, Shayan Laghari was locked up by the DI Khan police for posting a picture on social media. Even his parents were not allowed to see him the entire night.

Speaking to Voicepk.net, Laghari said, “My picture went viral on social media and police raided my house at night and charged me with section 107 of the PPC”. District Khyber’s Irfanullah Afridi was arrested by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) with charges of terrorism but he was killed. Locals have been protesting against his murder.

In another incident, Karora police station of Shangla had arrested a truck driver Syed Ali Akbar Shah for keeping 110 kilograms of hash on him but his body was found from the lockup later.

Spokesperson of KP government, Ajmal Wazir has announced a judicial inquiry into the matter of Amir torture case. According to Wazir, KP home department has also written a letter to the chief justice of the Peshawar High Court asking him to form a one-member committee comprising a judge to make a report which will be made public.