Thursday, 14 April 2011

Hard facts of human rights in Pakistan

The annual report for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, published yesterday, does not make comfortable reading. They say that957 people were killed in US drone attacks in 2010, while 1,159 people were killed in 67 suicide attacks. The fatalities included 1,041 civilians. In addition, a further 2,542 people were killed and 5,062 people injured in terrorist attacks.
In Karachi, 237 political activists and 301 other civilians were killed in targeted killings. Another 118 people were killed and 40 injured in targeted killings in Baluchistan. These included 29 non-Baluch 'settlers' and 17 members of the Shia Hazara community. The bodies of another 59 missing persons were found in the province.
The report reveals that there are more than 8,000 people on death row in Pakistan, including nearly 6,000 in Punjab alone. A total of 75,586 prisoners were detained in 55 prisons, although the authorised capacity for these prisons is only 42,617. Seventy-two prisoners died in prisons and another 157 were injured.
Freedom of movement in some areas of Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and FATA, is so limited, that the report calls them "virtual no-go areas".
Ninety-nine members of the Ahmedi sect were killed in the year and at least 64 people were charged with blasphemy, including Aasia Bibi, a Christian farmhand. Three men (including two Christian brothers) accused of blasphemy were killed in police custody.
Twenty-five of the 102 Sikh families that had been forced to flee Orakzai through intimidation, returned to the area. However, 500 Hindu families from Balochistan migrated to India because of threats to their lives.
Many more fascinating and daunting figures are contained in this remarkable report.

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