Amnesty International report suggests Pakistan military guilty of human rights abuses
Pakistani military operating in the country’s north-west tribal regions are guilty of widespread human rights abuses, according to a report by Amnesty International published today.
The report suggests that security forces fighting in the “lawless” remote region that borders Afghanistan have been regularly and arbitrarily detaining men and boys without charge, and subjecting them to torture.
Amnesty claim that many of those imprisoned are returned to their family dead, or never seen again.
“Almost every week the bodies of those arrested by the armed forces are being returned to their families or reportedly found dumped across the tribal areas,” said Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific director Polly Truscott.
The military have today rejected the report’s findings, which they claim are “a pack of lies”.
The Pakistani Armed Forces were deployed to the region to regain control from the Taliban, however, instead of increasing security, the operation which began in 2009 has brought citizens renewed fear, terror and human rights violations.
Under this operation, Pakistani authorities granted the army sweeping powers to arbitrarily arrest, detain and torture those they suspect of having links to militants, without constitutional repercussions.
The Amnesty report details how those living in this belt now live in fear of both the army and the Taliban, and have no safeguards in the form of parliament or the high court, as neither have jurisdiction in these tribal areas.
The region, home to more than 20 million, is among the least developed areas of the country, with 60% of the population living below the poverty line.
Amnesty are calling on the Pakistani government to end the “legal vacuum” and “culture of impunity” that exist in the tribal areas, where citizens have been stripped of their fundamental legal and human rights, and to reform the deeply flawed legal system that is “perpetuating the cycle of violence”.
Lucy Cait Jordan