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Pakistan Drug ‘Clinic’ Accused of Torturing Patients
While many drug rehab centers are known for giving patients a dose of tough love, one clinic in Pakistan took this to disturbing new levels by subjecting addicts to starvation and regular beatings.
The clinic, located in the city of Haripur, was raided and shut down by police two weeks ago. It was run by Islamic mullah Maulana Ilyas Qadri, who has since been arrested and now faces jail time for torture and illegal confinement.
Horrific Conditions at Pakistan Clinic
Patients reported being chained to concrete slabs and covered by insects, while only being let out into daylight to work on construction projects.
Patients reported being chained to concrete slabs and covered by insects, while only being let out into daylight to work on construction projects. Even when they received bathroom breaks, they were still chained to a partner. And if patients ever complained about their treatment, they received beatings by the mullah and his four guards.
Hashish addict Noor Rehman, who has been at the facility for three years, reported losing his eyesight eight months ago due to “psychological pressure and stress.” He said that the facility has caused far more harm than good and that many patients have “developed mental issues” from the trauma they have experienced at the clinic.
Another patient, an Afghan refugee named Shafiullah, claimed that no therapy or formal drug treatment was ever offered. “[Qadri] chained us and beat with a stick,” he said. “This has nothing to do with Islam.”
Surprising Support for Torture Method
But while most would be upset at spending roughly $80 per month to have their relatives subjected to torture, the methods have found approval from many families. Some are even upset that Qadri’s facility is now closed.
“When he’s chained up, my son cannot escape,” said a man named Sultan. “These chains are doing him good… he has learnt to recite the Koran.”
Qadri (pictured right), who was previously arrested and then acquitted in 2006 for imprisoning patients in his clinic, has continued to stand by his controversial methods. “Normally the addicts who stop using have the tendency to vomit and shake. But thanks to the Surah Yassin (a verse), they don’t have problems,” he explained. “And then one week, without any medicine, they are better. Even in the top institutions, you will never see this.”
Normally the addicts who stop using have the tendency to vomit and shake. But thanks to the Surah Yassin (a verse), they don’t have problems. And then one week, without any medicine, they are better.-Maulana Ilyas Qadri
Drug Abuse on the Rise in Pakistan
Although many drug clinics in Pakistan offer primitive methods of treatment and regularly lock their patients behind bars, it’s highly unusual for them to be beaten or stripped of basic freedoms. However, modern forms of care are now essential as the country’s drug problem continues to grow. A recent UN survey reports that there are four million cannabis users and over 860,000 heroin users in Pakistan, a number that has doubled since 2000.