League Protest Treatment of Scot in Pakistan Jail

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The Celtic League has expressed its concern to the United Kingdom government about a Scottish man currently in prison in Pakistan .

Mr Muhammad Asghar who is of advance years and suffers with mental health problems was recently injured in a gun attack in the prison when a prison guard ran amok with a firearm.

The League has also sent a forceful protest to the Acting High Commissioner for Pakistan in London .

TEXT OF CORRESPONDENCE TO FCO BELOW):

“Phillip Hammond MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

FCO Main Building

King Charles Street

London

United Kingdom

SW1A 2AH

29/09/14

Dear Minister,

I am writing to ask what steps the United Kingdom government is taking to ensure that safety, security and medial treatment is provided to Scottish citizen, Mr Muhammad Asghar, from Edinburgh who is currently in prison in Rawalpindi , Pakistan .

Mr Asghar, who is seventy years of age and reportedly suffering from mental illness, was injured recently following an unprovoked attack on him by a prison guard with a firearm. Another man died in the same incident.

I refer you to the United Nations:

“Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

Adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977”

These rules set out clearly that specialised medical treatment should be available to a prisoner suffering from the illness that Mr Asghar has, if necessary in a secure facility separate from the prison. The rules also set out clearly the standards expected of any staff working in a prison environment rules which were clearly broken when a member of staff was able to ‘run amok’ whilst in possession of a firearm.

The Celtic League would welcome an early assurance that the most forceful representations are being made to the Government of Pakistan.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information”

(TEXT OF CORRESPONDENCE TO ACTING HIGH COMMISSIONER BELOW):

“Mohammad Imran Mirza
Acting High Commissioner

High Commission for Pakistan

34-36 Lowndes Square

London

United Kingdom

SW1X 1JN

29/09/14

Dear High Commissioner Mirza,

I am writing to ask what steps your government is taking to ensure the safety, security and medial treatment for Scottish citizen, Mr Muhammad Asghar, currently in prison in Rawalpindi , Pakistan who was injured recently following an unprovoked attack on him by a prison guard with a firearm. Another man died in the same incident.

Mr Asghar is a gentleman of advanced years and also reportedly suffers from mental health problems.

I refer you to the United Nations:

“Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

Adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977”

These rules set out clearly that specialised medical treatment should be available to a prisoner suffering from the illness that Mr Asghar has, if necessary in a secure facility separate from the prison. The rules also set out clearly the standards expected of any staff working in a prison environment rules which were clearly broken when a member of staff was able to ‘run amok’ whilst in possession of a firearm.

Given that under International Law any State has a ‘duty of care’ to those housed in its ‘institutions’ it ‘beggars belief’ that an attack of the type carried out against Mr Asghar was able to take place.

The Celtic League would welcome your assurance that necessary steps will now be taken to ensure that Mr Asghar comes to no further harm.

I have written separately to the United Kingdom Foreign Office to express our concern and I will also be asking the General Secretary of the League to refer Mr Asghar’s treatment to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

For information the Celtic League is an accredited United Nations non-governmental organisation
Yours sincerely
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Further representations by the Celtic League to the UN OHCHR in Geneva are planned.

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information

29/09/14

Link:

 League Protest Treatment of Scot in Pakistan Jail

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

General Secretary, Celtic League:

gensec@celticleague.net

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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