Monday, 21 sept. 2020
|Mr. Nils MELZER Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Subject: Collective torture and punishment by Pakistan Army on innocent civilians in Shaktoi, South Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
I would like to turn your attention towards a very grave human rights situation in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; where Pakistan Army unleashed a rein of terror on innocent civilians, after an explosion caused by Improvised Explosive Device (IED) resulted in killing of 3 and injuring several soldiers. The Tehrike Taliban Pakistan TTP, claimed the responsibility.
According to reports received from local victims and eye witnesses, the Pakistan Army instead of punishing Taliban, resorted to extreme indiscriminate collective violence, inhuman, cruel, degrading treatment and torture on the innocent locals who were not responsible for the blast.
In a complete disregard for the rule of law and local traditions, Army men entered the houses without any warrants from a judge, broke the doors, looted the properties, took away hundreds of children, young and old ones to a nearby Military camp (in a school occupied by Pakistan Army) and tortured them for days. Big metal rods, batons, pipes and wooden sticks were used ruthlessly causing severe injuries to people resulting in even hospitalization and extreme mental and psychological problems to some of the victims. Several children as young as 6 years and elderly people as old as 70 years are suffering from hallucination, shock and psychological problems due to the torture. The extreme torture could be gauged from the fact that several victims fell un-conscience and are being treated in hospitals. The tortured persons include highly educated notables, teachers, nurses and civil servants .
After torture, the Army forced the victims to sign a written statement that they were well treated and have nothing to complain against the Army. The victims were threatened with dire consequences, if they report the torture to media or Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM).
The state of Pakistan is using the extra-judicial killings, rape and torture as a state policy to subjugate and enslave the Pashtun and Baloch people. Pashtuns are treated like animals and slaves and their freedom of expression is stifled. Instead of protecting their lives, Pakistan is forcibly disappearing, torturing and killing them. Pakistan Army and its secret services have become a state within a state, violating the laws and constitution of Pakistan with impunity, without any fear from the judiciary and legislature. The legal and Judicial System has miserably failed to provide justice to those tortured and their traumatized families.
We request your excellency to take up this issue of collective torture with the state of Pakistan which is a signatory to the UN Convention against Torture (Pakistan signed the convention on April 17, 2008 and ratified on June 3, 2010), to establish a Judicial Enquiry Commission to find the culprits and punish them. We further request to take measures for the medical treatment, rehabilitation and compensation of the victims of torture.
Fazal ur Rehman Afridi
PTM ADVOCACY COMMITTEE EUROPE & KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA
Institut de recherche et d’études stratégiques de Khyber (IRESK)
Email address : [email protected]
Note : The identity papers, interviews and consent letters of 27 victims of torture are attached.
UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, enforced on 26 June 1987, article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December 1975.