AACPR

Pakistan Supreme Court Condemns Indefinite Detention Without Charges

While the US enters its eleventh year of maintaining the Guantanamo Prison that Barack Obama pledged to close by the end of 2009, Pakistan now finds itself in the glare of international condemnation for its own practice of indefinite detention without charges. Just last month, Amnesty International released a report (pdf) in which they pointed out widespread torture and abuse in Pakistan’s tribal areas while prisoners are held by the military and intelligence agency without charges:

Amnesty International research shows that, rather than seeking to apply and strengthen the human rights safeguards of Pakistan’s ordinary criminal justice system in the Tribal Areas, the Pakistani authorities are applying old and new security laws that authorise prolonged, arbitrary, preventive detention by the Armed Forces, and breach international human rights law. The Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulations 2011 (AACPR) in particular, along with the century-old Frontier Crimes Regulation 1901 (FCR),5 provide a framework for widespread human rights violations to occur with impunity.

Both the AACPR and FCR come into play in a case argued today in Pakistan’s Supreme Court. From Reuters, we learn that although this case addresses just 11 men (now 7 due to four deaths, more on that later), the government now admits that over 700 are being held without charges:

Pakistan is holding 700 suspected Islamist militants without charge under a law that has come under fire from human rights groups, its attorney general said on Thursday.

The admission marked the first time that the strategic U.S. ally detailed how many militants it is holding in the tribal areas of the northwest under the Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulations law.

“There is a military operation in Waziristan. Under the law we cannot try these 700 people, nor can we release them, unless the operation is over,” Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the Supreme Court, referring to a tribal area near the Afghan border.

The Reuters report, however, seems to miss the mark on several important issues in this story. First, Reuters says the case is about “seven suspected militants held without charge since May 2010”. Both Dawn and the Express Tribune point out in their stories today that the case originated with 11 men. Here is how Dawn describes that part of the background:

The 11 prisoners in the said case went missing from the gate of Rawalpindi’s Adiyala Jail on May 29, 2010 after they had been acquitted of terrorism charges pertaining to their alleged involvement in the October 2009 attacks on the Army General Headquarters and the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) Hamza Camp in the garrison town.

Later, four of the 11 died in mysterious circumstances. The Supreme Court forced the ISI and military intelligence to produce the remaining seven men in court on February 13 — an unprecedented move. The men, all in deteriorating health, were sent to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar on court orders. After five of them recovered, they were shifted to an internment centre in Parachinar.

The other point that Reuters seems to miss comes when Reuters says of the men that the “Supreme Court is calling for their release” while it appears on closer reading of the Pakistani press that the “release” is from military detention into the hands of civilian authorities who would then try the men. Here is the Express Tribune: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel FISC to Government: "Care to tell me which fucking certifications are in effect for these Yahoo directives"? https://t.co/KJzC2vD222
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Oops. 2009, I mean.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Also, as a reminder to anyone reading the Yahoo docs: USG released ID's they're now hiding back in 2008. https://t.co/gcIEwE4bjU
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TimCushing Just be grateful it's not ORCON.
30mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel LOL some of these docs are more classified then they were the first time they were released. **SWIMMING UPSTREAM** https://t.co/reoPBMe9Hk
46mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @CareyShenkman: Citizens United made Donald Trump possible @emptywheel https://t.co/suuONE18mr https://t.co/iFsKLAnCSt
55mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @WilliamOckhamTx I did this after the 60 Minutes piece. https://t.co/tRr0rlQP0m Redundancy is another thing no other journo covered.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @joanneleon Well, you likely had a co-conspirator.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @WilliamOckhamTx Yes, I'm grateful you set me straight but frustrated no other journos figured it out b4 USAF passed, even when I raised it
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @joanneleon My wife is so happy she doesn't have to do stadium commencement this year. Normally basketball arena w/AC but under renovation.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @joanneleon Amazing how much she had crammed in there. She's home for May and June and then off to Germany for second half of summer.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @dnvolz: Here it is. The Supreme Court just submitted Rule 41 to Congress, which would expand FBI hacking authority: https://t.co/c2yi3T
2hreplyretweetfavorite
April 2016
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930