Voice for Voiceless
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Afzal Abad, Central Jail Road, Haripur, KPK, Pakistan														(C) Human Development Organization

*Fazal Khan* 28, an Afghan refugee living in a rented house in the countryside of Haripur, is the sole bread earner of his small family with three minor children. He makes his living buying (junk) used household items, shoes, cloths, canisters and utensils etc visiting different parts of the district.

“On the afternoon of May 4, 2012, I just got back from routine business and having siesta when two plain clothed men barged into my house and asked to accompany them to police station”. On his refusal: “they dragged me out forcibly kicking and punching and put me in the police van parked outside the home”. They drove him to police station without telling about the charges requiring his arrest.

After reaching police station he was produced before the Station House Officer (SHO) who disclosed that the police picked him on charges of drug smuggling. “Insisting to disclose that for how long I have been in the narcotics business and who is main supplier and the clientele- the officer slapped me in the face for few seconds and left my face blue and black-it felt like bleeding”.

For breaking him into confessing the crime that he claims to have not committed, the police officer threw him down to the ground started attacking his body parts with his iron buckled official belt.

“When the SHO got exhausted after beating me horrendously for few minutes he invited his subordinates for teaching me lesson until I admit being drug peddler”.

The police personnel usually assigned the task of making detainees confess their crime, took him to a dark room where they stripped him first and started beating with leather strip (litar), and bamboo stick.  “It was extremely painful when they forced me to sit on the air chair (making a posture as if sitting on chair)-my face was dipped in drum full of water after short intervals”.

The interrogators kept him awake for two days serving little food and without communication with his family that was desperately struggling to see him.

“It was such a barbaric treatment that obsessed me completely with fear of death- I thought it’s the last moment of my life- they would kill me now”

His arrest was put on record two days later, when he was finally charged in the FIR registered under section 9 of the Control of Narcotics Substance Act. He was produced before the area magistrate and the interrogators forced him to confess crime, if he does not want to see his wife disrobed in front of his eyes. The duty magistrate, according to Khan, sent him to jail on judicial remand hardly putting any question regarding ill treatment he faced during police detention.

Registered as client, the badly bruised and psychologically depressed Khan was taken for medical examination as he was suffering from multiple body aches and urine problem due to forced urine retention and frequent kicking in the kidney area. He was also suffering from loss of appetite and disturbed sleep coupled with experiencing nightmares. HDO’s rehabilitation team got him prescribed medicines by doctor.

Once his two weeks medication course came to end and started recovering from physical problems, HDO’s counselors started his psycho counseling. The counselors used different techniques of psychological healing  during the sessions.

Although Khan’s family suffered economic problems after his arrest and his minor son had to take the role of bread earner, was in itself a trauma for the torture victim , yet the psychological process helped him a lot returning to normal. He started taking care for his personal hygiene, taking regular bath with five times prayers.

He showed commitment of resuming business again for the sustenance of his family.  HDO’s legal support succeeded in securing his bail from the local court after three months. He visits CRLTV occasionally for discussing the problems that he ever faces.