A report compiled by Additional District and Sessions Judge Shafqutullah Khan on Aug. 15 has noted as “genuine” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s “grave concern” over a lack of privacy in toilet facilities at Attock Jail due to the presence of a CCTV camera outside his cell.
The lawyers of Khan, currently serving out a three-year prison sentence after being found guilty of “corrupt practices” in the Toshakhana case earlier this month, have repeatedly claimed he lacks basic facilities at Attock Jail and demanded he be granted ‘B-class’ facilities per his entitlements as a college graduate and a former prime minister. In his report, submitted after a routine fortnightly inspection of prison facilities, Judge Shafqatullah noted that, generally, prisoners did not have any issues with the facilities available at the jail.
However, referring specifically to Khan’s cell, he said the PTI chief had raised concerns over a CCTV camera positioned in front of his cell, roughly five to six feet away, covering 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 cited Khan 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,” said the judge, while noting that the superintendent of police had assured him these grievances would be addressed.
He further said that the superintendent had assured him Khan could meet his family and lawyers “as per prevailing rules.”
Punjab Prisons Department
In a press statement, the Punjab Prisons Department responded to the report, clarifying that all facilities in accordance with Rules 257 and 771 of Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978, had been provided to the PTI chief. It said a new toilet, including a western commode, had been constructed in Khan’s cell, with five-feet-high walls, various fittings and toiletries and a door.
The statement also claimed that Khan had been provided various comforts 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, newspapers, tissues and a thermos for tea. The Prisons Department further said the PTI chief’s wife visited him on Tuesdays, while his legal counsel met him on Thursdays.
It also noted that five doctors had been appointed for Khan’s medical needs, with one doctor present at all times on an eight-hour duty. Regarding the CCTV cameras, it said they had been installed for Khan’s and the jail’s 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,” it said.
Last week, Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi had written to the Punjab home secretary seeking the transfer of her husband from Attock to Adiala Jail. She had also expressed fears over him being “poisoned” during incarceration.