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HRCP concerned over enforced disappearances

Updated November 28, 2017

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday slammed the recent spate of enforced disappearances of some Baloch students and activists in Karachi.

The commission demanded that the ‘missing’ student activists and human rights defenders be accorded due process if they were suspected of any crime, or be immediately released.

In a statement, the commission said: “HRCP is gravely concerned at the fact that security personnel raided a house in Karachi a few days ago and arrested four leaders of Baloch Student Organisation (BSO) “Azad” and Baloch National Movement (BNM). The “missing” students included Sanaullah aka Ezzat Baloch, Hassan aka Nodaan, Naseer Ahmed aka Chiraag and Rafeeq Baloch aka Kambar, it said.

The HRCP said that another student, Sagheer Ahmed, was picked up from Karachi University canteen, while earlier a Baloch rights activist, Akbar Ali Gabol, was also picked up from his house in Gulshan-i-Iqbal at midnight.

“HRCP unequivocally condemns arbitrary arrest and detention of any Pakistani citizen, but is particularly concerned when human rights defenders and students engaged in rights awareness work are targeted, apparently on account of their work.

“HRCP demands that if any of these students is suspected of (committing) any crime, the charges against that individual must be laid out and he must be produced in a court without delay and accorded due rights. However, if he has not done anything wrong, he must be immediately released,” the statement said.

HRCP also urged the authorities, especially the prime minister and the Sindh chief minister to put in place effective oversight of the security forces’ actions, “to make sure they do not violate citizens’ rights and also to provide effective redress to the citizens whose rights are infringed.”

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2017