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'Unassailable' ISI faces 'historic' grilling in court over disappearances of Pak men

Islamabad, Fri, 10 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 10 (ANI): Pakistan's military will reportedly face a rare challenge by the courts today over the case of 11 men who were allegedly abducted and tortured by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency.


The case, due to be heard on Friday, could possibly bring out details about the workings of the ISI and its sister agency, the Military Intelligence, and charges that they have made hundreds of Pakistanis disappear, The Guardian reports.


Four of the 11 men kidnapped from the high security Adiala jail in Rawalpindi in May 2010 were found dead in recent months, and the families of the rest are petitioning the court for their return. Although apparently terrorist suspects, they have not been charged with any crime. efore the hearing, the military stated in a written response to the court that they would not bring the remaining men before the judges, as had been ordered by the court, arguing that some were in such poor health that they could not be produced. Critics said this only confirmed the allegations of mistreatment.


"This is a historic case. It is the first time the ISI has confessed to holding people," Amina Janjua, chairperson of Defence of Human Rights, a group that campaigns for Pakistan's disappeared, said.


"The courts are nothing in front of the agencies. The agencies think they are the masters. The ones who were killed did not die natural deaths. Their bodies were blue and black," she added.


The intelligence agencies are allegedly responsible for over 1,000 disappearances since 2001, of whom about 500 are still missing, while in the western province of Baluchistan, dumped bodies of dissidents are reported to be found regularly. (ANI)


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