Update and some questions: Karachi Rangers killing

UPDATE: The Supreme Court has taken suo moto notice of this incident, which, because it was captured on camera and circulated on the Internet, broadcast on TV channels, cannot be ignored like the other extra-judicial killings and murders taking place. But as Ali Dayan of HRW asks, “Will there be justice as a result?”

Some questions: It has been learnt that the video was shot by a man with a digi-camera who was with an Awaz TV reporter who was at the scene. Since one of them kept filming (granted, it was critical for him to continue and document the abuse), why didn’t other call for help? How come they were there in the first place? And how did Rangers let them film this scene? (further update: a team of three people from the Sindhi TV channel Awaz to film

HRW on Karachi killing: What we are seeing is visual records of what we have long documented: the culture of impunity in Pakistani law enforcement agencies. What is becoming clear is that the free for all, the culture of wanton abuse and killing, is becoming untenable in the age of new media and cell phone cameras.

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An extrajudicial murder in a Karachi park

Television reports showing a young man shot in cold blood by the Rangers in Karachi are disturbing to watch (I feel physically sick after watching it). An unidentified cameraman filmed the episode and made the footage available to TV channels – it’s online if anyone has the heart to watch it but better to read this report about the incident by AFP reporter Hasan Mansoor: Five soldiers arrested after Pakistan park killing.

The extra-judicial murder of this young man, Sarfaraz Shah, at the long, coastal Benazir Bhutto Park opposite Boat Basin (a hub of food shops and cafes) in Karachi, is a reminder of the impunity that our security forces enjoy. They claimed he had tried to rob a policeman’s family. Even if he had succeed, they had no business shooting at him. What happened to due process of law? Why aren’t the Rangers and other security people given basic human rights and legal training? Continue reading

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