Female activist claims she was ‘stripped naked’ in Haripur police jail cell in a viral video

Following her release, Erum Rasheed went public and unveiled the horrifying encounter she went through during her time in jail.

A woman's hands holding the jail cell bar

According to media reports, a social activist and US citizen named Erum Rasheed was arrested during a protest in Haripur a few weeks ago. The activist was released from Mardan jail on Wednesday after the Peshawar High Court annulled her detention under the maintenance of public order (MPO-3).

Following her release, Erum Rasheed went public and unveiled the horrifying encounter she went through during her time in jail. In a video message, the social activist claimed that she was stripped naked by an intoxicated man in the prison alongside many other young detainees.

Here’s what happened:

Erum Rasheed said:

I was kept in a dungeon in Mardan jail. Upon my release, I was warned by the police against raising my voice for the poor people to avoid facing a similar situation in the future.

Detailing the horrifying incident, Erum Rasheed stated: 

During my time in jail, an intoxicated man wearing white clothes showed up in my cell and told me that the DPO had sent him to strip me naked. He said that he was required to send my video to the DPO so that I could be returned to the United States. Many other young detainees with me were also stripped naked and assaulted. A detainee, Zaheer Khan, was beaten so much that he could not stand on his legs.

She further stated:

Several other activists detained at the Ghazi police station were also assaulted similarly. The staff filmed them and forced them to chant praises for the Haripur DPO while beating drums. The police officials told them that they were required to send their videos to the DPO.

Erum Rasheed continued to share:

A medical examination shows clear assault marks on my body. The police tried to intimidate me by sending my videos to different people.

Accusing the Haripur Deputy Commissioner and DPO for being involved in the act, Erum Rasheed alleged:

The Haripur Deputy Commissioner and the DPO are on the side of the corrupt mafia. Before my release, the Deputy Commissioner kept pressuring me to sign an apology letter. The Haripur district police even threatened my family, saying that they would be responsible if anything happened to my family or me.

In conclusion of the video message, the social activist said:

Although I don’t have a criminal record, raising my voice for the poor people has become my crime. But I vow not to step back. Nothing is left after what the Ghazi police have done with me. I will take to the streets again for the sake of the poor people. All these politicians seek votes from the poor people but do not step out of their homes for their rights. I urge the locals of the Ghazi area to join me in the protest on the roads again for their rights. And I hope that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police Inspector-General and Hazara division DIG will follow in our footsteps and take measures to provide justice and protection to the women in the region.

Protesters holding human rights banners

Haripur Police responds to Erum Rasheed’s allegations

When the media asked the Haripur Deputy Commissioner Mughis Sannaullah and DPO Kashif Zulfiqar to comment on the claims made by the social activist, they rejected all allegations. They said:

We arrested the protesters under MPO-3 to maintain law and order. The patients in the ambulance had to face difficulty because of the sit-in and the road closure instigated by the protesters.

DPO Kashif Zulfiqar said:

The major objective was to keep the law and order situation in check, and we will continue to do so in the future.

While the police have rejected all the claims made by the social activist, the video message posted by Erum Rasheed has gone viral on social media. For now, it’s hard to say what side of the story is closer to the truth.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.


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