Incarcerated PTI chief Imran Khan’s “grave concern” regarding a lack of privacy around his prison cell’s toilet facilities in Attock Jail due to a CCTV (close circuit TV) camera’s presence is “genuine” and points to a violation of prison rules, according to Additional District and Sessions Judge Shafqut Ullah Khan.
Imran is currently serving a three-year sentence in Attock Jail after being found guilty of corrupt practices in the Toshakhana case earlier this month.
The judge’s observations regarding the former prime minister’s living conditions came in a report that was issued today but was compiled on August 15 after he conducted a fortnightly inspection of the prison facilities.
As per the report, the judge, during the routine inspection, also visited Imran’s cell, who expressed a “grave concerns” about the violation of his privacy and the prevailing living conditions within the prison.
The judge remarked that the PTI leader raised significant concerns regarding a CCTV camera positioned in front of his prison bars, located at a distance of five to six feet, which covers an open bathroom-cum-latrine.
The facility had “small L-shape walls about 2.5-3 feet high, leaving no privacy” for toilet activities, the report quoted Imran as saying.
“The concern expressed by the prisoner is genuine one and is also violation of Rules 257 and 771 of Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978,” the judge noted in the report.
Rule 257 (Sanitary and bathing arrangements) of the PPR states: “Prisoners shall be granted adequate facilities for bathing and latrines, ensuring privacy.”
Meanwhile, Rule 771 pertains to “latrines,” specifying that “latrine floors should be elevated and frequently renewed. Each latrine must have a proper seat and partitions for the sake of privacy.”
The judge, however, stated that the superintendent of police present provided assurance to address the grievance raised by the PTI chairman. Furthermore, he said the superintendent also assured him that Imran would be granted access to his wife and lawyers “as per prevailing rules”.
Responding to the report, the PTI said it was “absolutely shameful how a national hero … is being denied his fundamental human rights and basic facilities he’s entitled to.”
The PTI has claimed since Imran’s arrest that he was being kept in “distressing conditions” and provided “C-Class jail facilities”.
Last week, Imran’s wife Bushra Bibi had also voiced concerns about the possibility of her husband being “poisoned” during incarceration at District Jail Attock.
In a letter dated August 17 addressed to the Punjab home secretary, Imran’s wife had sought the ex-PM’s transfer from District Jail Attock to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail and expressed fear he could be poisoned in lock-up.
According to the letter, the life of the ex-prime minister was in danger as “he was previously attacked twice whereby once he was hit by bullets shots (sic) on his body.”
Punjab Prisons Department issues clarification
Responding to the report, the Punjab Prisons Department issued a clarification saying that all facilities in accordance with Rules 257 and 771 of Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978, were provided to the PTI chief.
It said a new toilet was constructed in his cell with five-feet-high walls, various fittings and toiletries and a door as well.
The statement said various comforts were provided to Imran in his cell such as a bed, pillow, mattress, table, chair, air cooler, exhaust fan, fruit, honey, dates, prayer mat, Holy Quran with English translation, several books for reading, a thermos with tea, newspapers and tissue papers.
The prisons department said Imran was allowed to meet his family on Tuesdays and lawyers on Thursdays.
“For Imran’s medical facilities, five doctors have been appointed. One doctor is present at all times on an eight-hour duty,” the statement reads, adding that the PTI chief is provided special meals upon the doctor’s advice and with the approval of Punjab Inspector General of Prisons Mian Farooq Nazir. It further said the meals are served by a special team after a doctor’s inspection.
“CCTV cameras have been installed outside Imran Khan’s room for his and jail security. More than 4,000 CCTV cameras have been installed not only in District Jail Attock but also in other jails of Punjab for security purposes,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, caretaker Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti maintained on Geo News show ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ that the PTI chief was allowed to meet visitors and provided facilities according to the prison class he applied for.
He said he would definitely enquire from the Punjab government and jail officials about other issues raised in the inspection report such as the CCTV camera.
“We will ensure that all those facilities and class he (Imran) applied for and deserves as the ex-prime minister according to the law are provided to him. As far as I know, he has a bed and newspaper so the behaviour with him will be according to whatever the law permits.”
Additional reporting by Wasim Riaz.