An ATM thief by the name of Salahuddin went viral on social media when he stuck his tongue out at security cameras; he was later arrested and then tortured to death by the police.
Salahuddin was arrested on August 30 in Faisalabad, Pakistan. A day later, the police announced that he had died in custody. His father, Muhammad Afzaal, said his son had actually been tortured to death.
He had been missing for many days before his family found out that he had been arrested. His body was also sent home to his family, and the announcement of his death came a day later.
Afzaal told SAMAA TV, “I bathed his body with my own hands and saw his bruises with my own eyes. The skin inside his right arm was burnt, either with electrocution or an iron and there were big wounds on his left arm, which had been stitched up.”
He added, “One of his eyes was black and swollen, his hands and fingers were discoloured, like they have been tied with ropes.”
The police said that they were moving Salahuddin to Sheikh Zayed Hospital because he had complained of suffocation. However, he died on the way.
The autopsy report contradicts this statement. It talks about marks on the deceased’s right hand, right leg and near his right eye. A video circulating on social media also shows Salahuddin with his arms behind his back while an officer hits him repeatedly.
On Monday, Salahuddin’s father registered a case against three police officers under section 302 (punishment for murder) and 34 (common intention) of Pakistan’s Penal Code.
His father also revealed that Salahuddin was a mental patient. He had stayed in a mental institute for a year but had not shown improvement. He said, “My son had been suffering from a mental illness since childhood. We had written [tattooed] our house address on his arm, because his mind didn’t work properly.”
Afzaal also revealed that Salahuddin had been accused of robbery before. He said, “I received many complaints earlier and he was arrested many times. My son even went to Adiala Jail twice. However, most of the times people brought him back home after seeing the address on his arm.”
“He was presented before a judge earlier, who sent him back after seeing that he suffered from a cognitive impairment,” he added.
The Punjab Police have declined to give a statement on the issue.
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