Prisoners should be allowed to earn wages while working inside jails to help their transition into society once they are released, said Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari while speaking to the media on Saturday.
She appeared in the Islamabad High Court and submitted a report in a case pertaining to the conditions of prisoners in Pakistani jails.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the court hadn’t summoned the federal human rights minister in the case so she didn’t need to come.
“I came because I wanted to submit the report on my own,” she told the judge.
The report has made many recommendations based on the Mandela Rules to improve the conditions of the country’s prisons, Mazari said.
“Change can only come if we reform our system for under-trial prisoners,” she remarked. “There are more prisoners in our jails than their capacity and there are no facilities for transgender people.”
One of the recommendations is forming a separate cell for transgender people, she told the chief justice. “Criminals aren’t sentenced to jail so they can be tortured there. They are still humans and we have to treat them like that,” she added.
The report, however, hasn’t been made public yet. The case has been adjourned till February 15.