Marc Callcutt

Naheem Hussain and Rehan Zaman need your help – please sign our petition

on 09 September 2009

Today Reprieve are asking everybody that visits this page to spare two minutes to sign this petition on the Downing Street website, asking that Gordon Brown personally intervene in the case of Naheem Hussain and Rehan Zaman.

Five years ago, Naheem and Rehan were accused of the murder of two of their family members as a result of a dispute about the family land. They were arrested and taken to Dadyal Police Station, where they were tortured for two weeks, at which point they felt they had no choice but to sign confessions.

The torture they were subjected to was brutal and savage. Naheem was beaten with sticks and then had red chillies rubbed in his eyes. His wrists were tied together and he was hung from the ceiling by his bound wrists – a torture used because it slowly dislocates the shoulders. He was then told that if he did not confess, his wife and mother would be arrested and subjected to the same treatment.

Rehan was also beaten whilst he was hung upside down from the ceiling. He had cigarettes put out on him and had one of his fingernails pulled out. Both were subjected to falaka, foot whipping with a rod or cane that is used because it is excruciatingly painful but leaves little scarring.

In the first week of their ordeal, their families contacted the British High Commission in Pakistan, telling them that British citizens Naheem Hussain and Rehan Zaman were being tortured – however, no action was taken. In fact the British government did nothing to help these two lads until they spoke to their lawyer three months later. Had they taken meaningful action to stop the torture, Naheem and Rehan would not only have been spared a week of unbearable torture, but also they would not have been forced to confess to a crime that they insist that they did not commit.

We are therefore asking Gordon Brown to personally intervene and make right the wrong caused by the government’s inaction. However, for this we need your help – the more public support there is for Naheem and Rehan, the more likely the government is to take decisive action to end their years of suffering. Please take a moment to sign the petition and show the government that their failure to act is unacceptable.

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