KARACHI- In a press release issued from New York, the Human Rights Watch stated that the Pakistan authorities should ensure that a judicial inquiry into police shootings of rock-throwing protesters in Lahore, fully and impartially, investigates any unnecessary use of lethal force during the incident, which resulted in the death of eight people, while injuring several others.
According to the Human Rights Watch, the police had fired without warning supporters of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), who had attempted to resist police demolition of security barriers, erected in front of the party headquarters more than four years ago as a measure to improve local security.
“The Pakistani authorities need to explain why police officers found it necessary to fire live ammunition directly into a crowd of protesters throwing rocks,” said Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. “There are a lot of dead and wounded people in Lahore and no clear reason why.”
According to our sources, PAT workers had resisted the police and pelted them with stones. The police responded by using tear gas, baton charge, rubber bullets, and gunfire from assault rifles. The Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, was reported saying that the employment of deadly force by the police personnel was justified because unidentified individuals inside the headquarters had fired on the police during the confrontation, critically injuring several officers.
According to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, security forces should as far as possible apply nonviolent means before resorting to the use of force.