HRW: Pakistan must overhaul its police force
HRW: Pakistan must overhaul its police force

Pakistani police are committing serious human rights abuses [press release], Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported Monday, calling for a complete overhaul of the country’s police system. The report [text], “This Crooked System,” looks at the history of the Pakistani police and details occurrences of arbitrary arrest, torture, extra-judicial killings and sexual violence, especially among religious minorities that are vulnerable to “disgruntled and corrupt” members of the force. “The rule of law won’t become a reality in Pakistan unless the law enforcement forces tasked with imposing the law are also held to it,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW. “For this to happen, the government needs to bring changes within the system and address the improper influences outside of it.”

Pakistan has been under pressure to improve human rights conditions for years. Last week HRW called on Pakistani authorities to halt the execution of a mentally disabled man [JURIST report], saying “executing people with mental health conditions is an affront to decency and serves no criminal justice purpose.” Earlier this month a human rights lawyer was re-arrested in Kashmir [JURIST report]. Earlier this year UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed his concerns regarding Indian and Pakistani authorities refusing to allow the Human Rights Council access to Kashmir [JURIST report]. The UN also petitioned Pakistan earlier this year to cease rights infringement relating to a construction project that has displaced civilians and damaged sites of cultural heritage [JURIST report].