HR activists urge government to protect prisoners

ISLAMABAD: Government has been urged by the human rights organizations to take necessary measures to protect prisoners and prison staff against the pandemic coronavirus due to rise in cases, on Monday.

The statement was issued by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR), Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), Asma Jahangir (AGHS ) Legal Aid Cell, Public Lawyers Front (PLF), Defence of Human Rights (DHR), Legal Aid Society, Free Legal Aid Society For The Helpless (FLASH), Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) vice chairman Abid Saqi and members of Permanent Faculty, Shaikh Ahmad School of Law, LUMS, K. Asdar Ali, S. Aziz, S. Shah and Mohammad Azeem.

A petition was also filed in the Supreme Court to urge the federal government to announce public health emergency countrywide and use dam funds to treat patients in order to halt the spread of the virus, and release the prisoners convicted of minor crimes.

It was observed by the high court and Chief Justice Athar Minallah that it is impossible to practice social distancing in prisons because of confined spaces, and that highly populated prisons could result in outbreak of the pandemic in the jails.