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UN Report Finds Torture Widespread By Pakistani Law Enforcement

Asim Saeed was one of five Pakistani bloggers who disappeared this year
Asim Saeed was one of five Pakistani bloggers who disappeared this year

A United Nations panel on May 12 condemned the "widespread practice of torture" in Pakistan by police, the military, and intelligence agencies, and called on Islamabad to implement urgent reforms.

"The police engage in the widespread practice of torture throughout the territory...with a view to obtaining confessions from persons in custody," the UN Committee Against Torture wrote in its first report on the situation after months of investigation.

The report said Pakistani military forces; intelligence services, and paramilitary forces all "have been implicated in a significant number of cases of extra-judicial executions involving torture and enforced disappearances."

The report noted that several Pakistani bloggers who had criticized extremism and the authorities were tortured during weeks of arbitrary detention, but Islamabad had failed to launch an investigation into any of these cases.

The state has also not acted on cases of people who disappeared or were killed in detention, it said.

The UN urged Pakistan to enact reforms to prevent such abuses of power.

The National Commission of Human Rights, an organization linked to Pakistan's parliament, welcomed the report, saying "the publication could help start a conversation about torture" in the country.

Based on reporting by AFP

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