Pakistan: Arrests and torture of political activists

Thousands of supporters of the Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDA) were arrested in Pakistan on and after 17 November 1992 in connection with a demonstration called by the PDA. Several hundred of the arrested are believed to be prisoners of conscience, including journalists and members of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which was monitoring events. Demonstrators were reportedly injured by the police and several journalists and opposition politicians were reportedly tortured, including Salman Taseer, a senior aide of Benazir Bhutto and information secretary of the PPP and Mariana Baabar, a journalist with “The News” and former federal minister Mukhtar Awan. AI is also concerned about two ordinances introduced in late 1992 which limit prisoners’ rights to obtain bail.

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