Shireen Mazari submits report on jail conditions in IH

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ISLAMABAD, JAN 18 (DNA) – Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari submitted a report in Islamabad High Court on the conditions in jails.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah while hearing the case remarked that prisoners not sent to jails for torture, “Every religion teaches to treat a human being like a human,” IHC chief justice remarked.

Justice Athar Minallah addressing Dr. Shireen Mazari said, “You were not summoned by the court.” Mazari said she wanted to submit the report in person in the court.

Chief Justice IHC while lauding efforts of Dr Mazari remarked,” the court appreciates your work. You have taken a noble task in hand”.

Justice Minallah said, “If one has to assess the level of justice in a country he should see the prisoners in jails.” The number of inmates in jails has extremely increased, he said.

Dr. Mazari informed the bench that a large number of under trial prisoners are imprisoned in jails. “The problem should needs to be resolved,” she said. Mazari said the government planning separate cells in jails for transgender people. “I came because I wanted to submit the report on my own,” she told the judge.

Meanwhile, speaking to media persons Saturday, the Human Rights minister Shireen Mazari has said that the prisoners should be allowed to earn wages while working inside jails to help their transition into society once they are released.

She said that she appeared in the Islamabad High Court in person and submitted a report in a case pertaining to the conditions of prisoners in Pakistani jails.

“Change can only come if we reform our system for under-trial prisoners,” she remarked. “There are more prisoners in our jails than their capacity and there are no facilities for transgender people.”

One of the recommendations is forming a separate cell for transgender people, she told the chief justice. “Criminals aren’t sentenced to jail so they can be tortured there. They are still humans and we have to treat them like that,” she added.

The report has made many recommendations based on the Mandela Rules to improve the conditions of the country’s prisons, Mazari said.

It is to be mentioned here that the Ministry of Human Rights on the directives of Islamabad High Court (IHC) had recently notified constitution of a commission tasked with examining civil liberties for prisoners across the country.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari has been chairperson of the commission.

The report, however, hasn’t been made public yet. The case has been adjourned till February 15.  =DNA