Extrajudicial killing of Sunil Samuel in Camp Jail Lahore awaits justice.
22 Nov 2003
Christian youth Sunil Samuel, 18, was sexually assaulted by inmates at Camp Jail, Lahore. After lodging a complaint, he was tortured to death by two prison officials on 19 August 2003. He was in custody at the prison prior to trial in a Robbery case
Sunil Samuel had worked at an Internet Caf? In Mall Road, which does Mr. Jute own. When Sunil Samuel demanded his salary, Mr. Jute tried to delay payment and they made an intensive argument. After that, Mr. Jute, registered a false charge of robbery against Sunil Samuel and others with the assistance of sub-Inspector Ghulam Hussain from the Qilla Singh Police Station. The police arrested Sunil and tortured him in the presence of the complainant (Mr. Jute). Sunil was sent to Camp Jail Lahore on 9 August where he was held together with convicted criminals.
Inmates at Camp Jail Lahore report that three inmates sodomized Sunil named Mehboob, Naeem and Naseer. The prison authorities failed in their duty to protect this young man from sexual assault while he was in custody. Moreover, when Sunil made a complaint to the prison officials, the Deputy Superintendent Zia-ullah reportedly ordered to punish the victim together with the accused.
The prison staffs Iqbal and Abbas then tortured Sunil together with the three accused. Sunil begged to be spared because he was the victim but the officials blamed him of being a party to the crime of sodomy and demanded five thousand rupees as a bribe. When he refused to give a bribe, they continuously tortured him for two days resulting in his death on 19 August 2003. Allegedly, the neck from a ceiling fan by the jail officials hanged the dead body of Sunil in order to fabricate it as a suicide.
Inmates at the prison disclosed details of this serious case to the media through their relatives. The family of the victim claimed that an autopsy report noticed that torture and sodomy are causes of Sunil's death. The victim's family has made a complaint and goes to court against the Prison Superintendent, Jail Warden and three prisoners Mehboob, Naseer and Naeem.
The Constitution of Pakistan expressly forbids torture and it states "No one shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence (Article 14 (2))". However, it has been very common that the police abuse their power involving in torture, arbitrary detention, rape and death in custody, and inhuman prison conditions.
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, extra-judicial killings have increased compared to previous years. During 2002, at least 236 people were killed in 'encounters' by law enforcement officials and more than 50 persons victimized to 'target killings'. From 1 January to 31 July 2003 there have been 25 custodial deaths in Lahore District and suburbs. In particular, Christians are over-represented among the victims with approximately 13% of victims being Christian while Christians comprise only 2% of the population. For further information see Chapter 9 of the National Commission for Justice & Peace's Human Rights Monitor 2002 - 2003.