Pakistan Drug 'Clinic' Allegedly Tortured Addicts

By Bryan Le 07/28/14

A Pakistani clinic run by an extreme Islamic mullah has been shut down after police found patients chained to the ground and forced to recite the Qur'an.


About 115 patients at a clinic run by a Pakistani mullah were alleged to have been tortured as part of their treatment. According to Pakistani police, who raided the clinic last week, patients were chained to the ground and forced to recite the Qu'ran.

“They treated us worse than animals,” said Noor Rehman, a hashish addict who went blind eight months ago after two years of imprisonment.

The clinic, located about 50 miles north of Islamabad, has practiced extreme methods uncommon even in Pakistan, but does provide insight into the attitude conservative Islamic societies hold towards drug addiction, according to Independent Online.

The mullah, Illyas Qadri, chained patients to a partner and to concrete slabs in the ground to prevent them from escaping and using drugs again. The only time they were released from the ground was for bathroom break, though they remained chained to their partner.

“The mullah lets us go out only when he wants our help in construction work. It was us who built these walls,” said Shafiullah, another patient who spoke to reporters.

Qadri, who was raided by police after a family of a patient filed a report, defended his methods. “I recite the Qur’an, then blow on water and give this water for drinking three times a day. 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 said. “And then one week, without any medicine, they are better. Even in the top institutions you will never see this."

But Shafiullah said Qadri's statement was not true. “He chained us and beat us with a stick. This has nothing to do with Islam."

However some of the patients' families, who often use such clinics to do away with troublesome addicted family members, have actually approved of Qadri's techniques. “When he's chained up, my son cannot escape. These chains are doing him good, and on top of it he has learnt to recite the Koran,” said Sultan, a family member outraged by Qadri's clinic being shut down.

Still, the memories of savage treatment lingered for those rescued by police. “My brother doesn't know the whole story," said Lutuf, a patient whose brother also was upset over the raid. "I know what happened here.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter