The government shows disinterest in the case of eight women and four children being held hostage by the police

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: The government shows disinterest or impotence in the case of eight women and four children being held hostage by the police

Policemen in Sindh province have yet to release eight women and four children who were arrested on the night of November 24, 2008, without charge, and taken away in police vans. (http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2008statements/1785/) Higher police officers are currently using them as bartering tools, to force relatives to hand over a suspected bandit, Haji Wakeel, who may be holding another man, Dr. Abdul Jaleel Bachani, hostage. Their detention is entirely illegal and unconstitutional.

Protestors across Sindh province, including in Hyderabad city, have held demonstrations demanding the release of those taken, and the arrest of the police officials involved. (Please see AHRC-UAC-258-2008)

.. The situation in Sindh province is getting worse day by day. To get ahead, gangsters need only look to the example set for them by the police. The provincial government, worried about its grip on power, plays into the hands of the police heads, and as a result, the province is practically lawless. Between December 1 and 3 this year, for example, more than 50 persons were abducted and killed in Karachi, the capital; they were either burned alive abducted, or resurfaced as corpses bearing severe torture marks. A number of these crimes have been linked to coalition partners in the government.

The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the government to immediately release the women and children, and provide redress for their ordeal. The AHRC also urges upon the government to take legal action against all police officers who are involved in the heinous kind of crime.

AHRC-STM-307-2008, December 4, 2008

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

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