PESHAWAR, February 20 2006: Scores of young people arrested in connection with last week’s riots have complained of severe torture and rough treatment in custody.
Most of the arrested teenagers were either students belonging to various schools and colleges or were playing cricket in their localities when they were arrested. The counsel for several juveniles, Advocate Kabirullah Khattak, told Dawn that the police had blatantly violated the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000, after last week’s violent demonstrations. “The police had not separated children from adult suspects and had produced these children in handcuffs along with adult accused persons.”
Advocate Arshad Khan, appearing for another juvenile suspect, said that however none of these provisions had been followed by the police.
One of the boys, Farhan Ahmad, 12, told Dawn: Â“I was returning from school when some policemen picked me along with some other students. They first beat us severely in the police station and asked us to kneel down. We were kept in that position for two hours and were not allowed to sleep during the night.”