Saturday, 2 October 2010
New Video Appears to Show Abuse of Prisoners by Pakistani Soldiers (What is the fate of 8000 Baluch missing persons)
Days after a Web video apparently showing members of Pakistan’s military executing prisoners came to light, another video has been discovered that appears to show soldiers beating suspected militants in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
As my colleague Jane Perlez reported on Wednesday, the execution video had already raised concerns among American officials worried about how Pakistan’s military has been conducting its battle against militants, with the financial support of the United States.
While American officials said that video appeared to be genuine, a spokesman for the Pakistani Army, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, initially told The Times that it had to be fake, since, “No Pakistan Army soldier or officer has been involved in activity of this sort.” But two retired Pakistani senior army officers said they believed that the video was credible.
The next day, pressed by American officials, Pakistan’s military acknowledged that the execution video was genuine, but portrayed the killings as an isolated episode.
On Friday, a person from the Swat Valley, who wanted to remain anonymous for safety concerns, told The Times that the newly discovered video of the prisoners being beaten, which was uploaded to YouTube in May, seemed to have been shot in Khawazakhela, north of the town of Mingora.
This video, which also appears to have been shot on the type of low-resolution camera commonly found in phones appears to show in graphic detail the beating and interrogation of a suspected militant.
As the beatings are administered, men dressed in Pakistani military uniforms can be heard asking the prisoner, “Are you a Talib?” Mixed in with other questions is some laughter and the suggestion “Beat him so that he knows what beating is.”
The men in uniform question the prisoner in a mix of Urdu and Pashtun, but speak among themselves in Punjabi.
THE NEW YORK TIMES