Police are the law keepers of the society. Their job is to keep the situation under control, to catch the culprit and control violence but their job is not to punish. They are not the authority that decides which person deserves to be killed or punished. The police force is accountable under the law and constitution and they too cannot take the law in their own hands. Yet there are cases all over the world where police has been known to step beyond their traditional role. Some forces have occasionally put a toe across the line but others have gone many steps across the line.
The police force was formed for the first time by a Muslim Caliph names Umar al- Khattab (R.A). It was then known as “ash-shurta” and was headed by a Head of Department much like the Highest Inspector nowadays. Its role was peace-keeping but with time, the growing population and the changing human psyche and its dynamics pushed police away from their basic role. Now police is used as a brutal force to control brutality. Though it is quite ironic, police is also very important.
Below are ten countries with the worst police brutality in the world. Sorry to break your surprise but Pakistan tops the list. Read on…
Shocking as it may seem but the USA listed here as the country with the most brutal police force particularly after 9/11. The aftermath of the beginning of this war against terrorism, gave the police in the country immunity against legal and civil rights of people (unconstitutionally in few cases). Recently, there have been many killings because the police “doubted” criminal activity. Innocent people are killed or executed after biased trial because the police shows impunity with respect to civil rights when it comes to their fight against terrorism. Most killings involve black men. The names of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Gregory Gunn are notable when it comes to police killings. Although, the country has world’s best police force! Surprised?
Taking a look at the Ashura protests of 2009 will give you an idea of the level of police brutality in Iran. The police and authorities report of 36 deaths but the protesters claim that the figure is much higher. The Ashura is a commemoration of a day of injustice in Islamic history. It is a day where Shiite Muslims owe to end violence and injustice but the police use brutal measures against people in processions on the Ashura. They were shelled, hit and fired upon. The same happened in the protests against the elections in Iran. This is why there was general outrage in the country when it hosted a conference against racial killings of black men in USA. People took it as ironic.
Brazil was in the news a couple of years ago because of the Olympics hosted in Rio de Janeiro. It was also covered because of the high instances of worst police brutality in the country. It is very common for the police to kill people when they are trying to control mobs and illegal land occupations. They have a free ticket from the government to control the situation as they want to. It is also not uncommon for police to plant evidence in order to frame someone that they think is not good for the society. There have also been racial and black men killings in the process. Nearly all the deaths that are reported are deemed self-defence. The problem is that police is trying to control brutality with brutality so the gang war does not seem to abate.
Police brutality in Haiti is also common. It can be assessed from the way the government proceeded to convert the island of Ile a Vache into a tourist attraction. Instead of following proper procedures of acquisition, evacuation and development- bulldozers simply tore down homes and the police brutally dealt with anyone stepping beyond a certain line in the name of protests. People were beaten indiscriminately as even pastors and women were not spared.
The police chief in charge of the area was replaced with a stricter one in order to deal with people protesting against the government. It is quite sad to see that the money is taken by taxpayers to feed the police and the same cost centre is then used to pressurize people illegally. Although this will appear to be one side of the story to our readers, there is sufficient evidence collected by human rights activists about these protests in Haiti.
Kenya is an African country with prevalent problems and widespread corruption. People took to the streets in 2016 against the government and its corruption. But, they were dealt with severe resistance and punishment by the law keepers. Protesting crowds were hit with clubs and sticks. They were chased down the streets and the police resorted to all gruesome measures to disperse the gathering crowd. Journalists told anecdotes of how the police treated people like they were bales of cotton. No wonder the people want a change.
See Also; Most Corrupt Police Forces in The World.
Killings in police custody and violence by the police in Russia is so common that it is hardly reported. People are prone to the police taking any measures to reinstate their authority and power. One most recent famous case is of the moderately successful band of the 1970s’ drummer Sergei Pestov who was arrested from his own garage for alleged possession of drugs. His wife had to identify his lifeless body the next day. And, even though the police claimed that they had released him the previous night, human rights activists think otherwise.
The Somali police force like the country itself is in abysmal state- torn by civil war. Over 1000 German trained police officers reportedly disappeared and have allegedly joined an Islamist militia in 2009. The force is underpaid and resorts to illegal measures to increase their income. Rampage of private property and coercion of citizens for bribe is common in the country. Also there have been reports of the police turning away from crime and supporting injustice in return for financial bribes. Attempts have been made to improve the state but hitherto there has not been much success.
It was claimed by a CIA officer in 2004 that if a man was wanted to be seen disappeared from this planet then he must be sent to Egypt. Situation has worsened after the Arab Spring as the current regime is of the opinion that the ousted Mubarak’s leniency was the reason for his dismissal, therefore they plan to be otherwise. According to the Nadeem Centre, 600 local tortures were reported in 2015 along with 40,000 arrests, 1265 disappearances and 267 killings. Much of this was done to support the aftermath of the military coup in Sissi’s favour.
2. South Africa – The world capital of police brutality
Figures suggest that the number of people killed by the police in South Africa increases every year. If all civil liability suits against the police were upheld, the government’s budget would be consumed in the court alone. As the figures regarding torture by the police and rapes by uniformed policemen are exceeding every year, reports suggest. In 2016 alone, there were 244 deaths and 124 rapes by uniformed policemen. It is upsetting to see the protectors becoming the vultures. 145 cases of police torture were also reported in the same year.
Police in Pakistan has been known for its corruption as well as abusing manners. It also has a reputation for extrajudicial killings. According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) data, as many as 3,345 people have been killed in police encounters from 2014 to May 2018. As per the data, 6,610 male and 23 female and 12 minor victims were encountered by the police during this period. Out of which 3,345 people were killed.
There are numerous reported cases of police extrajudicial killings and brutality in Pakistan. Some examples like; Model Town incident (14 + protesters been killed by the police gunfire), killing of model Naqeebullah Mehsud and much more. But, the incident that occurred on 19 Jan 2018, is by far the worst case of police brutality ever. The Punjab police officials shot dead four persons, including; Muhammad Khalil, his wife Nabeela, 13-year-old daughter Areeba and a neighbour Zeeshan in the presence of three children.
What is most painful if parents been killed brutally in front of their children’s eyes. It’s happen. Three children watch father, mother, sister getting killed. The family was travelling in a car when the alleged encounter — which the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials later termed an ‘intelligence-based operation’ — took place on GT Road near Sahiwal. Earlier, the CTD officials claimed that the four people were kidnappers. But later on dubbed them as terrorists. Family members and witnesses said police killed the four in cold blood and then tried to cover up their actions.