Pakistani Security Official Removed Over Beating Death

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 3:10 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistani leaders have removed the regional head of a security force because of a controversial videotape that appears to show his men shooting an unarmed young man and allowing him to bleed to death.

Reports say that Major General Ijaz Chaudhary was removed from his post Tuesday, several days after a judge ordered the move.

Meanwhile, six members of the paramilitary force accused of killing the young man have been turned over to police.

The video, broadcast on Pakistani television, shows members of the paramilitary Rangers opening fire on the man as he pleads for his life in the southern city of Karachi.

The man, identified as Sarfaraz Shah, was buried Thursday as family members and human rights groups protested the paramilitary's action. The Rangers said he had been armed and was trying to rob someone when he was detained Wednesday.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday called for the matter to be investigated.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan condemned the killing, calling it “yet another indication of law enforcement personnel becoming increasingly trigger-happy .” The rights group said such incidents were becoming more and more common in Pakistan.

The incident comes at a time when Pakistan's military is already under scrutiny following the May 2 U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. The al-Qaida leader was killed in that raid.

Human rights groups have long accused Pakistani security forces of carrying out extrajudicial killings.

A U.S. State Department human rights report released in April found that reported cases of torture and rape of individuals in Pakistani custody nearly doubled last year compared to 2009.