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Three Pakistani Police Detained After Torture Video Goes Viral

FILE: Police officers stand guard to try to enforce a nation-wide lockdown, at a market in Peshawar in April.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Three police officers in northwestern Pakistan have been suspended and placed in custody over the release of a video showing them stripping and beating a man who had criticized them, officials say.

A district police chief has also been suspended for "playing a role" in the incident as an investigation is launched, police in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province said on June 25.

The moves come as protests erupted in response to a video circulated on social media showing officers stripping off the clothes of a young man and beating him at a police station in the provincial capital, Peshawar.

The video prompted outrage on social media and among political leaders and rights activists who called for improvements to policing.

The man, reported to be an Afghan refugee, was detained after posting a video of himself online insulting the local police.

Hundreds of protestors took to the streets of Peshawar on June 25 to condemn the incident and demand the prosecution of those involved.

Demonstrators surrounded a police vehicle and carried a coffin symbolizing the demise of the police.

Meanwhile, a court Peshawar summoned the province’s police chief for an explanation of what a judge termed an "incident that shattered the confidence of society” in the police force.

Judge Qaiser Rashid said that while the "history of police was full of sacrifices" some "black sheep have defamed the entire department."

"Do hold an inquiry but don't end up handing a clean chit to your people," he advised.

With reporting by dpa and Dawn