Pakistan: Fearing custody death, (Senator) Swati asks IHC to ensure his rights are upheld


ISLAMABAD: A day after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested Azam Khan Swati for a second time in less than two months on charges of sending out tweets critical of the outgoing army chief and featuring slurs, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) senator told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) he feared custodial killing and requested that fundamental rights be ensured in his trial.

He had been arrested in October as well for using “obnoxious and intimidating” language to criticise Gen. Qamer Javed Bajwa, state institutions and other government officials. At a court appearance at the time, he alleged he was stripped and tortured by officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency.

Swati was charged with libel and appeared before a judge on Sunday who allowed the agency to interrogate the senator for two days. He was being held at a facility in Islamabad.

His petition recalled he was subjected to “worst custodial torture” last time. The senator claimed he had been “informed” that he can be killed in custody. “Azam Swati can be subjected to any sort of inhuman treatment,” read the petition.

Swati shouldn’t be transferred to any other place, or handed to any other agency such as the military, requested his counsel through the petition.

The agency filed a slew of cases against him under the draconian Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), the petition noted with concern, seeking the details of the first information reports (FIRs) registered against him.__Pakistan Today