Police Brutality In Pakistan: A Timeline From The Last 10 Years

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Various government reports show that police is the most complained against, and least trusted government institution in Pakistan. It lacks accountability and there is widespread corruption in the institution.

Not just financial corruption, Pakistani police has also gained notority for its high-handed behaviour and excessive use of violence.

Human Rights Watch discovered that police in Pakistan frequently engages in torture, by hand or with batons and littars (strips of leather).

Here is a timeline of the documented cases of police brutality in Pakistan from 2009-2019.

2009

  • Muhammad Sarwar along with his son was taken into custody for being involved in alleged criminal cases in 2009. They remained in custody for two weeks before being shot dead as they “tried to run away.”

2010

  • Mughees and Muneeb Butt were two brothers who were lynched by mob on August 15, 2010 in Sialkot. 9 police officers witnessed the lynching and did not do anything to stop it.
police brutality pakistan

One of the accused involved in the killing said that they carried out that act on the orders of former District Police Officer of Sialkot, Waqar Chauhan. The two brothers were accused of robbery.

  • On July 12, 2010, a 24 year old boy Shahbaz was shot in front his father by police.

The police said they were chasing criminal suspects and fired in self-defense after Shahbaz shot at them but his father denies that his son fired at the police officers.

“There are many other witnesses to his killing… Not only have the police killed my son, they have also sullied his name by making it seem as if he was a criminal. He was not a criminal. “

– Allah Rahka- Shahbaz’s father

2013

  • In December 2013, the police picked Naeem Ahmed from his home in Lahore. Naeem was accused of multiple crimes including murder, robbery, and kidnapping for ransom. Later his mother was informed that he died in police custody.

2014

  • An 18 year old Sulaiman Lashari from Karachi got into a fight with the son of a police superintendent in 2014. Later, the son of the superintendent along with five police constables entered Sulaiman’s house and shot him dead.
  • A Pakistani citizen, Akhtar Ali died on June 3, 2015, from torture under police custody.

“I found him in a coma, with a broken skull, there was no hair on the back of his head, his nose was broken and there were scars on his face.””

-Akhtar Ali’s wife

2015

Zeshan and Shakeel, two brothers were killed in police firing near Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi in 2015. The police signaled them to stop at a checkpoint. They refused and were shot multiple times.

According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, in 2015 alone, over 2,000 people were killed by police officers and most of the events of police brutality happened in Punjab.

2016

In May 2016, Aftab Ahmad, a member of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), was killed while in the custody of the Pakistan Rangers. An autopsy report found that over 35 percent of his body was covered in bruises, indicating torture.

2017

  • In 2017, a young boy Muhammad Rizwan was slapped with frivolous charges and it is alleged that police tortured him into securing a “confession.” They later fired 5 bullets at him, resulting in his death.
  • A young boy Taimur was shot by a policeman in Islamabad’s Sector I-10/1 after he did not stop at a checkpoint. He received a bullet to his head.
  • Yasir Butt, another Pakistani citizen was killed while in the custody of police on December 7th, 2017.

2018

  • Naqeebullah Mehsud from South Waziristan was killed in a fake police encounter by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed on January 13, 2018.

Anwar alleged that Mehsud had links with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, but anti-terrorism court declared him innocent after his death.

2019

  • An eight-year-old boy was brutally beaten by police in Lahore when a mobile phone shopkeeper suspected him of being an accomplice in a theft-related crime.
  • Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials killed four people, including a couple and their teenage daughter on GT Road near Sahiwal on January 19, 2019. CTD officials claimed that they were terrorist which was later found to be untrue.
  • In January 2019, a 55-year old Gujrat brick kiln owner was tortured to death in police custody.
  • Another incident of police brutality was reported from Lahore, where Amjad Ali died on 1st September due to torture by the Gujjarpura police. His video of lying on bed in critical condition went viral.
  • Recently, Salahuddin Ayubi was brutally tortured and murdered in Punjab police’s custody after being apprehended for stealing an ATM card.

Read: Salahuddin Ayubi: Another Victim Of Police Brutality Whose Only Crime Was Stealing An ATM Card

Police in Pakistan is heavily politicized; it has insufficient financial resources and this combined with poor criminal justice system calls for much needed police reforms to end police brutality in Pakistan.

We need proper systems of accountability for police in order to change it into an institution that actually works for the protection of human life rather than being a threat to it.

2 COMMENTS

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