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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Unarmed Man Shot by Police in Pakistan – Who Casually Watch as he Bleeds to Death in Street

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:05 AM | | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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After pleading for life on his knees, an unarmed man is shot at point blank range by a military police officer before being left to bleed to death in the street.

In the footage, a plain-clothed man grabs the victim, who allegedly robbed someone, by the hair and drags him over to a group of paramilitary rangers in Karachi, Pakistan.
He is forced to his knees with his hands behind his back. He pleads for mercy, then one of the soldiers shoots him twice – once in the leg and again in the arm.
The man, identified as Sarfaraz Shah, falls to the ground and screams in pain. He then tips over and passes out as blood spurts from his gaping wounds.
In the horrifying footage, the man dies in front of crowds of uniformed officers, as they chat and look on, standing in the street.
He died next to a park named after late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was seen around the world as a symbol of democracy.
It is likely to erode what little public confidence remains in Pakistan’s security forces who have been on the defensive since Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. raid.
The video which has triggered fresh criticism of Pakistan’s human rights record and the unpopular government which many say has failed to rein in a heavy-handed police force and military.
‘There is the law of the jungle in this country and no one is accountable for his action or deeds.’
Zohra Yusuf, head of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said: ‘It shows that our law enforcement agencies have truly become trigger happy and the brutalization of society that has come about as a consequence.
‘It’s very very disturbing and it’s been happening too often.’
A senior police official initially described the incident as an encounter with an armed criminal.
The cameraman who shot the video has received anonymous death threats, his boss at local station Awaz TV said.
News of the death was splashed across the front pages of newspapers beside photographs of Shah’s grieving relatives.
One headline read: ‘Karachi extra-judicial killing shocks Pakistan.’
There were widespread demonstrations after Sarfaraz Shah’s death about the military police, who have been widely criticized for abusing the extra security powers they have been given to protect volatile Karachi, Pakistan’s business capital.
Mr Shah’s brother told the BBC: ‘My brother was innocent, he was walking in the park.
‘The whole world has seen what has happened.’
The video comes a few days after a prominent journalist, who had reported that Al Qaeda was behind the Pakistani Taliban raid on an air base, was tortured to death.
Suspicion has fallen on military intelligence, who have denied any part in the killing. The Daily Times said the military, paramilitary forces, police and intelligence agencies ‘who confidently violate human rights’ should be held accountable for their actions.
An editorial comment read: ‘The security and law enforcement forces that do not respect the law themselves are inviting anarchy, which arguably is already under way.’
Last year, a video emerged of two teenage brothers, believed to be robbers, being beaten to death before being strung up on a metal pole in broad daylight. Several policemen had watched the lynching take place.
The Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, said an inquiry would be launched after the Karachi incident and the culprits punished. But increasingly frustrated Pakistanis have little faith in the government.
Mohammad Sultan, a retired soldier who now works as a security guard, said: ‘There is the law of the jungle in this country and no one is accountable for his action or deeds. This is pathetic.’

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