Special cells for Transgenders, Disabled Persons recommended

There should be separate cells for transgenders and people with disabilities to cater to their specific needs, said Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari.

She stated this while chairing the meeting of the commission formed by Islamabad High Court (IHC) on jail reforms on Friday to finalise its report. Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari instructed the participants to operationalise the recommendations of the report in their respective provinces.

Secretary of Ministry of Human Rights Rabiya Javeri Agha briefed the participants about the recommendations of report. She highlighted that recommendations are 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 Pukhtunkhwa, Syed Hammed Ullah , Additional Inspector General Prisons Baluchistan ,Dr. Tariq Additional Secretary , Ministry of Interior and Irfan Bashir, Ministry of Human Rights.

The commission was formed on the writ petition filed by Khadim Hussain, currently a prisoner at the Central Jail Adyala, Rawalpindi, before the IHC 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 to be chaired by the Minister of Human Rights 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 and 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.

The commission was also assigned 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 and propose solutions to deal with the human right violations in the prisons and amendments in any law, rules or regulations. In addition to that, the Commission also had to present proposals regarding appropriate governance and management systems and ways to ensure individual and institutional accountability.

The commission comprised Federal Minister of Human Rights (Chairperson), Secretary Ministry of Interior, Secretary Ministry of Health, Former Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Ghazi Shahabuddin Journalist, Zia Awan Advocate Supreme Court, Tariq Khosa, Former Director General Federal Investigation Agency, the Provincial Chief Secretaries and Secretary Ministry of Human Rights.


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