This post contains graphic descriptions of abuse and torture that may not be suitable for all audiences. Reader discretion is advised.
There’s a difference between helping suffering drug addicts and cuffing 115 of them to a single chain as a bizarre form of detox. Pakistani Islamic cleric/scholar maulana Ilyas Qadri didn’t get the memo.
Qadri, who has no license or background to treat addiction, ran an establishment known as the Center for Spiritual Treatment of Drug Addicts, where he provided drug users with Islamic counseling and guidance to help them conquer their addiction. However, rehab in Islam is quite different than in the west. Qadri believed many of the addicts needed further treatment beyond counseling, and many of them could not afford a hospital visit. He and several of the center’s guards took the men into adjoining rooms in the back and fettered them to a single chain which stretched between the rooms. The men were never allowed to be unchained, even when praying, eating, or using the restroom.
Instead of actually trying to help his now-unwilling patients conquer addiction, Qadri was more intent on using them for his own twisted enjoyment. He and his guards routinely beat the boys and men, knowing that no one could see or hear any of what was happening. The captives ranged in age from 13 to 45. Though 13 is a bit old for a Muslim’s sexual fancy, Qadri took indecent liberties with what was available.
The men were underfed and many became significantly malnourished. Qadri collected money from the men’s families, claiming they were staying with him for detox, though he didn’t mention anything about the conditions they were kept in. Some of the men who did not have family in the area had been held for as long as five years; Qadri knew no one was looking for them, so he and his guards kept them around as human punching bags.
Police grew suspicious of the center after family members complained about their loved ones not returning. They raided the facility in 2006, arrested the cleric and freed the 112 men held captive. However, due to a bizarre miscarriage of justice, Qadri was acquitted and returned to his former profession a few months later in 2007.
Of course, the cleric couldn’t resist the sight of men in chains. In 2014, he began to assemble a second chain of drug addicts. As more and more addicts turned up asking for treatment, the chain quickly grew. This time, Qadri improved his high score, capturing 115 men and boys. The same abusive practices as the 2006 incident resumed. When another patient at Qadri’s center stumbled across the men, he immediately filed a police report. The center was raided and Qadri was arrested a second time, along with the center’s guards.
After his arrest, Qadri denied the charges and stated that the chain was necessary to prevent the men from escaping treatment. You know, maybe, just maybe, those men would have been better off being addicted to heroin instead of being shackled and tortured. The investigation into Qadri’s center is ongoing.