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Pakistan's Imran Khan facing harsh jail conditions — lawyers

August 7, 2023

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan was handed a three-year jail sentence for failing to declare state gifts he received while in power. He was cited by a spokesman as saying that he was being treated like a "terrorist."

Lawyers protest against arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan
The arrest of Imran Khan led to backlash, with lawyers fighting his jail sentence Image: ARIF ALI/AFP

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing harsh prison conditions, his legal team said on Monday.

Khan was handed a three-year jail sentence on Saturday for failing to declare state gifts he received while in power. The ruling disqualifies him from running for office, with general elections due for later this year.

The former prime minister has faced more than 200 legal cases against him since he was ousted in a no-confidence vote in April 2022.

Pakistani police arrest former Prime Minister Imran Khan

What did Khan's legal team say?

Khan's spokesman for legal affairs, Naeem Haider Panjutha, told reporters that he is the only person who was allowed to meet Khan since his arrest.

Panjutha said that Khan told him during the visit: "I'm being treated as if I were a terrorist."

The spokesman said that Khan was put in a small, dark jail cell with an open toilet.

He said that the only facility in the cell was a fan.

"His morale is high and he will continue the fight for the rule of law at any cost," the spokesman said.

"He is being held in deplorable conditions not fit for any human, but he is in good spirits," Khan spokesman Raoof Hasan told the Agence-France Presse (AFP) news agency.

"He said to 'tell the people that I will not compromise on my principles.'"

Khan braces for the worst

Panjutha said that Khan's legal team would file an appeal against the court order on Tuesday.

Imran Khan's jail sentence: What are Pakistanis saying?

He said the former prime minister was ready to face even harsher conditions.

Khan's legal team asked the Islamabad High Court for better facilities that include a table, chair, TV, mattress, personal bedding, clothing, and food.

His lawyers also asked for Khan to be granted permission to meet his wife, legal team and senior members of his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

sdi/wd (dpa, Reuters, AFP)