Dr Shireen Mazari, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Human Rights, says 65 per cent of prisoners are yet to be convicted as their cases are pending with various courts for years. Image Credit: Social media

Dubai: A latest report has revealed that some 5,189 prisoners in Pakistani jails are suffering from HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases.

The report submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) by Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, says that as many as 425 prisoners were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS while 65 per cent of prisoners are yet to be convicted as their cases are pending with various courts for years.

The Islamabad High Court had earlier formed a commission, headed by Shireen Mazari, for making a complete report about the facilities and recommendations for reforms in jails, The News reported.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah resumed the hearing of a petition filed by a prisoner Khadim Hussain against poor health facilities in jails. The report revealed frightening facts about the plight of prisoners and sorry state of jails in the country.

The report revealed that some 425 prisoners were diagnosed of HIV/AIDS. A further breakdown of the cases showed that in Punjab 225 male and two female convicts were suffering from the disease, 115 male and one female in Sindh was found contracted with the disease, while 39 cases were found in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 13 in Balochistan.

Mazari’s report also showed that 65 per cent of the prisoners in jail are yet to be convicted as their cases are pending with the courts. The report shared that decisions of 55 per cent cases in Punjab, 71 per cent in KP, 70 per cent in Sindh and 59 per cent in Balochistan have not been announced. It further adds that 290 male and eight female prisoners in Punjab, 50 in Sindh, 235 in KP and 11 in Balochistan are mental patients.

Report further revealed that 1,832 prisoners have been diagnosed with Hepatitis, 173 are suffering from Tuberculosis, 594 are suffering from various mental disease, while 2,192 are suffering from other diseases.

The report shared that all district and central prisoners across Pakistan have access to hospitals but they lack important medical equipment such as ECG, X-Ray, ultrasound machines, oxygen cylinders, dental units, laboratories and beds in these prison hospitals.

Report revealed that 70 per cent of the prison staff is untrained and unaware of their duties under the Prison Rules.

Report highlighted another important issue of obtaining permission from Home Department for medical treatment outside the jails. 245 cases of medically ill prisoners are pending before the respective Home Departments with 232 cases in Sindh and 12 in Punjab.

Federal Ombudsman Report

Meanwhilee, in a separate report, the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat in Islamabad has told the Supreme Court that 46,304 under trial prisoners (UTPs) are currently detained in 113 jails of the country while the total number of convicted prisoners is 25,990, reproted the Express Tribune.

In its 5th quarterly “implementation report” on status of improving conditions of jails in Pakistan, the secretariat said the total capacity of the jails is 60,022 but the total number of people imprisoned in them is 75,813.

The report said the issue of overcrowding of jails could be addressed by construction of new jails in the respective districts and simultaneously eliminating delay in trials through the use of the latest IT tools in all areas of criminal justice system of Pakistan.