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Human Rights cell set up to oversee HR cases

KARACHI: A Human Rights Cell (HRC) has been established in the Central Police Office in order to implement the Human Rights and Gender Sensitisation Policy.

In this regard, a formal order was issued by IGP Sindh Jahangir Mirza on Thursday. The HRC would work under the Additional IGP Investigation, Sindh.

The composition of the HRC would be:

– Lady DSP (Incharge violence against women & children)

– Male DSP (Incharge complaints of human rights violations against police)

– Nine human rights investigators, (both male and female), three from each region i.e (Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur).

– Legal Advisor

The HRC has been assigned to investigate the complaints in writing in the following areas:

– Complaints against misuse of authority by police (illegal detention, torture in Police custody, biased investigations).

– Domestic violence/violence against women.

– Violence against children.

– Rape/gang rape.

– Forced marriage.

– Other human rights violations.

The IG has directed the Additional IGP Investigation Sindh to ensure compliance of the following guidelines through personal supervision and frequent meetings with the HRC Staff:

– The HRC will enquire into the complaints of human rights violations only.

– It will not enquire into anonymous and pseudonymous complaints, unless directed by PPO/Additional IGP/Investigation, Sindh.

– The registered criminal cases may be marked as human rights cases by PPO, Additional IGP/Investigation Sindh and RPOs/CCPO.

– It will not conduct criminal investigation of cases marked as HR Cases by it self but will monitor the investigations of such cases referred to it to ascertain if any violation of human rights has taken place or not.

– HRC will give clear recommendations on violation of human rights for taking concrete legal action against the defaulters and will suggest remedial measures if warranted.

– HRC will issue SOPs to investigate certain types of criminal cases in order to reduce violation of human rights.

– HRC will also prepare training modules for crime investigators and would also conduct training programmes for them as well as for their own personnel.

– HRC will also formulate and publish guidance for the general public/vulnerable groups of society on how to protect against violation of human rights and if/when a violation of human rights is committed by anyone, where and how to report it.

– HRC will keep record of their working in a standardised format.

– HRC will prepare and submit weekly analytical report to PPO/Sindh through the chain of command.

– There will be a clear division of work between Complaint Cell and Human Right Cell and their charter of duty shall be defined to remove any ambiguity/overlapping/duplicity.

– The HRC will also keep regular liaison with different HR organisations and NGOs for exchange of information in HR cases.

Source: The News

Date:4/6/2007

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