Friday, December 1, 2023

Human Rights Commission Pakistan “deeply concerned” by random arrests of PTI workers

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The Pakistan Human Rights Commission (HRCP) has expressed grave concern about reports of random arrests and cases filed against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers across Pakistan.

According to Dawn, over 564 workers from Imran Khan’s political organisation, the PTI, have been arrested for violence following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, and more arrests are being made. HRCP expressed its concern in a series of tweets, calling the incident a violation of all “democratic norms.”

HRCP has tweeted, “HRCP is deeply concerned by reports of random arrests and cases filed arbitrarily against PTI workers across Pakistan. A distinction must always be made between those resorting to violence and nonviolent political workers.”

“No one must ever be penalised for their party affiliations. This goes against all democratic norms,” the tweet added.

Earlier on Sunday, Islamabad police said 564 people had been arrested for violence after government property worth 25 crores Pakistani rupees (PKR) was damaged during the violent protests.
Protests erupted in Pakistan on May 9 after Imran Khan was arrested in Islamabad. Protests were held in cities across Pakistan, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Peshawar, and Mardan.

Protesters set fire to 12 vehicles and 34 motorcycles, according to Islamabad Police. According to the Islamabad police department’s official Twitter account, armed protesters targeted Tarnool, Sangjani, and Ramna police stations. According to Dawn, 11 Frontier Corps personnel and 71 police officers were injured during the protests.

Islamabad Police in a tweet said, “Government property worth Rs 25 crore was damaged during the violent protests. The protesters set ablaze 12 vehicles and 34 motorcycles, including the SP Industrial Area office. Armed protestors attacked Tarnool police station, Sangjani police station and Ramna police station. 11 FC personnel and 71 police officers and jawans were injured in the violent protests. 26 cases have been registered against the evil elements. Islamabad police detained 564 people involved in violence. More arrests are being made.”

On Saturday, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday ordered authorities to arrest all culprits and attackers responsible for the vandalism and arson at the Jinnah House and military and civil installations within 72 hours, ARY News reported.

Shehbaz Sharif gave the instructions while chairing a meeting at the Punjab Safe City Authority Headquarters in Lahore. He said, “All the culprits, planners, instigators, and attackers involved in the vandalism should be arrested in the next 72 hours,” ARY News reported.

He further said, “This is a critical task that requires swift action to ensure the safety and security of our citizens.” Shehbaz Sharif said, “I am deeply disturbed by this situation, and I would like to request the chief minister to take immediate action.”

According to ARY News, Sharif told Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi that any act of sabotage is unacceptable and that those responsible will be arrested and brought to justice.
“I have given law enforcement apparatus a 72-hour target to arrest all those involved in facilitating, abetting, and perpetrating the disgraceful incidents of arson, ransacking, sabotage, and damaging public and private properties,” he tweeted.

All available resources including technological aid & intelligence are being deployed to chase down these elements. Bringing these people to justice is a test case for the government. Their cases will be tried by the anti-terrorism courts.” 

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