Probe extrajudicial killings, Pakistan HRC urges UN

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Islamabad, April 15 (IANS) The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan here on Monday urged the UN to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings by Pakistani security forces that has caused widespread outrage in the last few months.

The independent rights watchdog in its annual report “State of Human Rights in 2018,” released in Islamabad, also requested the UN for probe other issues, like the situation of human rights activists and the state of religious freedom in the country, reported Efe news.

The report said the commission “requests for country visits from UN Special Rapporteurs on extrajudicial executions”.

Since 2012, it said, Pakistan has accepted country visit requests by the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. But “the requests for visits from a number of other special procedures remain pending.”

It said the public conscience in Pakistan “was unremittingly assailed by reports of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, abuse and murder of children, violence towards women, child labour, religious intolerance, persecution of minorities, crimes committed in the name of ‘honour'”.

The request has come after four people — three from the same family — were killed in a police encounter in January. After the killing, the Counter Terrorism Department said the four were terrorists and were killed in a shootout among themselves. But eyewitnesses and survivors denied the claim.

In a video posted on the social media, a nine-year-old survivor of the shootout said the police started firing without any reason, causing outrage in the country.

Since then, five policemen have been arrested, five senior police officers and its investigation branch have been suspended.

In early 2018, the killing of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud, an aspiring model accused of being linked to the Taliban, and three others triggered severe criticism of the authorities.

This led to arrest of police officer Rao Anwar who has dramatically fallen from grace after being considered a hero for killing 444 alleged terrorists since 2011. He has been charged with Mehsud’s alleged extrajudicial killing.

The case triggered a nation-wide protest by Pashtun youths. They demanded an end to extrajudicial killings, disappearances and removal of land mines in the areas where they live. In January, a court dismissed terrorism charges against Mehsud and his three friends and held that the police encounter was staged.



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