Internment centres being converted into rehabilitation centres, PHC told

March 19,2019

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PESHAWAR: The focal person for the missing persons on Monday informed the Peshawar High Court (PHC) that the government was going to convert the internment centres, where hundreds of terror suspects were languishing on terrorism charges, into rehabilitation centres.

"Recently, a meeting was held in Rawalpindi, where it was decided that the internment centres would be converted into rehabilitation centres," Muhammad Kamran, the focal person for the missing persons, representing the agencies, federal and provincial governments in the cases.

He said the government was going to close down the internment centres gradually after converting them into rehabilitation centres. PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth while heading the bench observed that the detainees were kept at the internment centres under the Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation, 2011. They would languish there until and unless the regulation existed.

He remarked that the government would take some steps about the fate of the detainees languishing in the internment centres after non-extension of the military courts. The remarks came in a habeas corpus petition filed by Sartaj Khan.

The lawyer submitted before the bench that a letter was issued, which was on the case record that the missing person had been traced and shifted to Lakki Marwat internment centre, but again it was not confirmed whether he was there or not as the authorities were not allowing the family members to meet the detainee.

The bench, in a detention case of a student, issued the notice to respondents, including the federal government through Ministry of Defence, Inspector General Frontier Corps, secretary Home and Commissioner of Mohmand district. They were directed to submit a reply in the court before the next hearing.

Afsar Ali, brother of the detainee Shahnawaz, had filed the petition, seeking the release of his brother. In the petition, it was claimed that the detainee Shahnawaz was arrested by the law-enforcing agencies on September 15, 2015, from the Mall Road in the Peshawar Cantonment when he was giving a blood sample after passing a screening test for the ISSB.

The petitioner claimed that the detainee was arrested from the Army Selection Centre without any reason and legal justification. The lawyer submitted before the bench that the arrested student was handed over to the Commandant Mohmand Rifles at Ghallanai and since then he had been kept in illegal detention.

The court, however, disposed of five the cases of missing persons after receiving replies from the law-enforcement agencies that they were not held by them. The missing persons included Ghulam Nabi, Waris Khan, Ishique, Muhammadullah, and Raza Zawar.

The bench asked the family members of the missing persons that after obtaining the order they were at liberty to file first information report against anyone they suspected and could file contempt of court petition if the station house officer concerned refused to register the FIR.


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