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Pakistan: Regional alliance against torture formed

last updated Oct 25, 2011

A consultative meeting in Lahore, attended by over forty civil society organisations, lawyers and human rights defenders, was held to find solutions to the ongoing problem of torture in police custody and other places of deprivation of liberty in Pakistan. Organised by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE), the conference resulted in the formation of a regional alliance against custodial torture and ill-treatment.

Pakistan has not introduced a specific crime of torture in its national legislation, the burden of proof still lies with the torture victim and there is no independent investigation unit to examine allegations of torture. The country has ratified the Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 2010 but has received a lot of criticism for numerous reservations on several important articles. Despite the withdrawal of some of these reservations, participants of the conference in Lahore reiterated their call for a full implementation of the CAT.


Several areas were identified as problematic. According to the chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) state-sponsored violence is on the rise, particularly torture in custody, extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. Several participants claimed that during the last ten years, 10,421 cases of torture in police custody had been reported.


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