‘MOHR to submit report on prison before 18th’


By Minahil Makhdoom

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen M Mazari chaired the meeting of commission formed by Islamabad High Court on jail reforms to finalise its report. Chairing the meeting, Dr. Shireen Mazari said there should be separate cells for transgenders and people with disabilities to cater their needs. She also instructed the participants to operationalize the recommendations in their respective provinces, here on Monday. Secretary of Ministry of Human Rights Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha briefed the participants about the recommendations of the report. She highlighted that the recommendations were based on Nelson Mandela guidelines adopted by UN and Bangkok rules which deals with female prisoners. The main recommendations included capacity building of staff of prisons and appointment of medical staff of prisons at vacant seat. The report will be submitted to Islamabad High Court before January 18, 2020. The meeting was attended by Iqbal Hussain Special Secretary Home, Home Department Punjab, Babar Qadeer, Additional Secretary, Home Department Sindh, Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig, Punjab Prison, Asghar Ali Deputy Secretary ,Ministry of National Health Services, Muhammad Arshad Director General Ministry of Human Rights, Col. Taj Sultan ,Additional Inspector General Prison Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa, Syed Hammed Ullah , Additional Inspector General Prisons Baluchistan ,Dr. Tariq Additional Secretary , Ministry of Interior and Mr. Irfan Bashir, Ministry of Human Rights. The commission was formed on a writ petition filed by Khadim Hussain, currently a prisoner at the Central Jail Adyala, Rawalpindi, before the Honourable Islamabad High Court after his vision was impaired during the course of his sentence due to failure and negligence of prison authorities. After hearing the plight of the prisoner, the Honourable High Court constituted a Commission chaired by the minister for human rights to look into the following areas (the Terms of Reference): To investigate human rights violations in the prisons of Pakistan and lack of medical assistance and obstacles in access to a court of law of prisoners who do not have means or assistance in this regard. To investigate failure on part of the executive authorities and respective Governments to fulfil obligations and enforce the Prison Rules and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 relating to prisoners who suffer from illness and diseases. To carry out a review of the Prison Rules and other relevant laws with the object of fulfilling the commitments of the State of Pakistan under the Constitution, International Treatise and Conventions. Propose regarding solutions to deal with the human right violations in the prisons and amendments in any law, rules or regulations. Proposals regarding appropriate governance and management systems. How to ensure individual and institutional accountability