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HRW: Pakistani Police Commit Widespread Abuses

Pakistani camouflaged police commandos take part in anti-terrorism training during the passing-out ceremony of the Special Security Unit (SSU) in Karachi on June 15.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Pakistan's police of carrying out extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary arrests, and called on the government to implement reforms to its forces.

The findings were included in a new report released on September 26 that is based on interviews with 30 police officers and 50 victims or witnesses of abuse across the country.

The report said that "torture methods include beatings including with batons and leather straps, stretching and crushing legs with metal rods, sexual violence, prolonged sleep deprivation, and mental torture, including witnessing others being tortured."

"Pakistan faces grave security challenges that can be best handled by a rights-respecting, accountable police force," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

"Instead, law enforcement has been left to a police force filled with disgruntled, corrupt and tired officers who commit abuses with impunity, making Pakistanis less safe, not more."

The report found that those from marginalized groups -- including refugees, the poor, and religious minorities -- were especially at risk of police abuse.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP