The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights expressed concern in a report published last week, about the increasing trend in the police to torture suspects in custody, sometimes to death. It noted that 46 complaints for torture or custodial killings were registered in 2011 against police forces. “The increase in the number of such cases is indicative of the tough approach of senior police officers”, it added. The report stated that torture was used for extracting a confession mostly, but also for extortion and corruption.
To address this issue, the Committee urged the police to improve their forensic techniques to carry out investigations, rather than torture suspects to extract a confession. It also highlighted the importance of effective forensic labs, comprising with properly trained scientific investigators working independently from the police, with adequate resources. It specifically recommended setting up four forensic labs in every province of the country, and one in Islamabad.
It also exhorted the police to improve the training of law enforcement officers, and the recruitment process.
It also called for a proper registration and follow-up of complaints, and recommended the creation of a non-political and independent commission to deal with such complaints.