MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti) – Patients were chained, beaten and left malnourished in the mullah Maulana Ilyas Qadri’s drug rehabilitation clinic located in the city of Haripur, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Islamabad, New Delhi Television reported Friday.
"There was no therapy here, just chains… The mullah lets us go out only when he wants our help in construction work. It was us who built these walls," New Delhi Television cited one of the patients as saying.
Some patients spent years being chained to concrete slabs. If they uttered a word of complaint, the mullah and his guards beat them.
After a complaint made by a patient’s family member, police broke into the clinic, freed the patients and arrested the mullah. Qadri now faces jail time for torture and illegal confinement.
According to New Delhi Television, Qadri had already been arrested for imprisoning patients in 2006, but was later released on bail and acquitted. Qadri reopened his clinic then and set a price of about $80 dollars per month for his controversial treatment.
Some patients’ relatives were disappointed by the clinic's closure, arguing that harsh methods are the only useful ones.
"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 a father of a patient as cited by New Delhi Television.
Pakistan is one of the most heroin-addicted countries in the world. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 6.7 million Pakistanis used drugs last year. Many are addicted to cheap and widespread opium, easily delivered from neighboring Afghanistan.