PTI Senator describes abuse in FIA custody
Pakistan and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
Azam Swati, PTI leader and senator, described the details following his arrest in October of this year. Swati was initially arrested following a tweet in which he criticised the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan for “legitimising corruption”. The tweet followed the decision acquitting the Pakistani Prime Minister and his son of the money laundering charges brought against them. Subsequently, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested Swati on the basis of Swati’s “malafide intentions and ulterior motives” against “State Institutes of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its Senior Government Functionaries including Chief of The Army Staff of Pakistan Army”. The FIA report on the matter further stated the tweet attempted to “seduce Army Personnel/s from their allegiance to their duties as subordinates” and to create distrust, hatred and ill-will against the Pakistani judicial system, army, and Chief of Army Staff. Swati was then charged under Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, and within preliminary court proceedings Swati and his legal representatives alleged mistreatment before the court.
Now, Swati has publicly alleged having been subject to torture whilst in custody. In particular, he named Major General Faisal and Sector Commander Faheem, as well as the FIA Cybercrime assistant director Ayaz, who was allegedly present during Swati’s torture since he was apprehended. Swati further detailed the abuse claiming he was stripped, beat and filmed by those apprehending him. The senator emphasised his determination to ensure the matter is adequately investigated and justice is brought, specifically calling on Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to investigate the incident.
Sources and further reading:
- Dawn.'They kept beating me': Swati describes his 'custodial torture'. (2022, November 1). DAWN.com. Retrieved 1 November 2022 from https://www.dawn.com/news/1718186/they-kept-beating-me-swati-describes-his-custodial-torture
- Sheikh, W. Shehbaz, son Hamza acquitted of money laundering charge. (2022, October 13). DAWN.com. Retrieved 1 November 2022 from https://www.dawn.com/news/1714786
- Qarar, S. and Naseer, T. PTI Senator Azam Swati arrested for tweeting against army chief. (2022, October 13). DAWN.com. Retrieved 1 November 2022 from https://www.dawn.com/news/1714819