July 13, 2014 - Comments Off on Why exactly is ‘Protection of Pakistan Act’ problematic?
Signed today into law by President Mamnoon Hussain, Protection of Pakistan Act is an extremely repressive law giving unquestionable powers to armed and police forces. Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the civil society of Pakistan has aggressively opposed the bill for curbing fundamental constitutional and human rights.
Several provisions of PPA, 2014 are problematic along with a number of vaguely defined terms that can be misused by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). As the powerful elite of the country has most of the police loyalties with the legal system already in a shambles, PPA gives “green light for abusing suspects”, as put by HRW.
The new law doubles the maximum sentence for terrorism offences to 20 years and permits security forces to shoot suspects on sight. The scheduled offences are not only non-bailable but keep the burden of proof on the detainee who will be considered guilty unless proven otherwise.
The provisions of Protection of Pakistan Act 2014 also give safe-outs to police officers of BPS-15 grade or higher on the basis of good faith which can create huge troubles in the country where police is hardly trusted by the citizens.
Here are the details on why exactly the civil society opposes Protection of Pakistan Act and what are the problematic provisions. Please share the details widely among your circle to better inform your friends and families about this law which will remain in effect for two years and can have huge repercussions for a common citizen, bloggers, and especially dissidents.