SC summons Shahzad Waseem over letter alleging Swati's custodial torture

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shahzad Waseem was summoned by the Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday over his letter detailing alleged torture against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Swati by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

The senator was summoned on Monday at 10:00 am, by the director general of the court’s Human Rights Cell.

"Waseem was summoned as per the directives of the chief justice of Pakistan," stated DG Human Rights Cell, in regard to the information gathered through the letter written by him and other PTI senators detailing the alleged custodial torture of Swati.

The letter

On October 17, PTI senators wrote to the apex court against the arrest, "torture and ill-treatment" of PTI leader and fellow senator Azam Swati during custody.

Read Azam Swati granted bail in tweets case

Swati was taken into custody by the FIA cybercrime unit on October 13 for allegedly making ‘controversial claims’ against state institutions, including the army chief.

Almost 10 days later, a district and sessions court in Islamabad granted Swati post-arrest bail against a surety bond worth Rs1 million.

The letter written by the PTI senators stated that Swati was taken into custody from his residence in Islamabad, adding that "all this was attributable to a so-called 'controversial' tweet posted by the senator."

"[The tweet] was deemed a cybercrime, while many other well-known personalities who had previously availed cyberspace to say much worse things on the same subject are roaming scot-free," it further stated.

The senators maintained that Swati was “stripped naked and tortured” while in the investigating agency's custody.

"Several of us were present when he showed to the Court the various parts of his body bearing injuries. He even informed the Judge that he had suffered injuries on his private parts, which he was ready to show to the Judge in the privacy of his retiring room," stated the senators.

The petition added that the way Swati was treated during custody was against the Constitution and human dignity.

FIA denies allegations

On October 18, the FIA had rejected the allegations that the PTI senator was subjected to torture and humiliation in custody, saying the “dignity of the lawmaker was ensured during the whole legal process”.

Read More FIA denies allegations of torture on PTI Senator Azam Swati

A first information report, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, was registered against Swati by the FIA for “using false information” through his official Twitter handle, “which is likely to incite any Officer, Soldier, Sailor, or Airman in the Army, Navy or Air Force to mutiny”.

Amid allegations that Swati was tortured and stripped in the custody, the FIA rejected the claims saying the case against the PTI senator was registered “on 13-10-2022 after fulfilling all legal formalities”.

“Subsequently, raid and arrest of Senator Azam Khan Swati were made in accordance with law after fulfilling all legal formalities in presence of Magistrate First Class. Medical Board constituted on the order of Judicial Magistrate FIA Islamabad, declared Senator Azam Khan Swati medically fit,” it added.

The federal agency “strongly condemned” allegations of physical torture in the custody.

“Moreover, dignity and sanctity of the Senator were ensured during the whole legal process,” it claimed.

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