16 activists of Imran Khan’s party handed over to army for trial under military laws
By Press Trust of India: In a first, 16 Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf activists of Imran Khan, including a former lawmaker, were handed over to military authorities on Thursday for trial under the strict army law and of the Official Secrets Act for allegedly burning down the Lahore Corps Commander’s House, also known as Jinnah House.
On May 9, violent protests erupted after paramilitary Rangers arrested Khan at the High Court premises in Islamabad. Members of his party vandalized a dozen military installations, including the corps commander’s house in Lahore, Mianwali air base and the ISI building in Faisalabad in response to Khan’s arrest. The crowd also stormed the Army Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi for the first time.
Since the widespread violence, the government has cracked down on Khan’s supporters, arresting thousands and threatening to bring them to military tribunals.
“By order of the Anti-Terrorism Court, the Superintendent of Lahore Camp Prison on Thursday handed over 16 prime suspects, including former lawmaker Mian Akram Usman, of the attack on the Lahore Corps Commander’s house, known as from Jinnah House, to a military commander,” a Punjab man said. a government official told PTI.
He said more than 2,000 people, mostly Khan’s party workers, were arrested in connection with the attack on the corps commander’s house. However, the role of these 16 was established to vandalize and set fire to the residence.
Also read: Pakistan puts Imran Khan, his wife Bushra and over 80 party members on no-fly list
Khan claimed that 10,000 workers from his party were arrested across the country for allegedly attacking military installations and public buildings on May 9.
The military said only those involved in the attack on military installations will be tried under the Pakistani Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.
“The Commander has informed ATC that the 16 suspects in question in committing the offenses have become the subject of the Pakistan Army Act 1952 and are exclusively subject to investigation and prosecution. tried by military authorities by court-martial,” the official said.
Amnesty International strongly opposed the decision to try civilians in military courts.
In a statement, the human rights body said it had documented a catalog of human rights abuses stemming from the trial of civilians in military courts in Pakistan, including a flagrant disregard for the rule of law, a lack of transparency and forced confessions.
He called on the authorities to immediately rescind the handing over of civilians to the military for trial and stressed that civilians should only be prosecuted in civilian court using ordinary criminal laws commensurate with the offence.
Khan also strongly condemned the civilian court-martial and called it illegal and unconstitutional.
Also read: Cops at Parvaiz Elahi’s Lahore residence as crackdown on Imran Khan’s party continues
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