Civil society on Sunday continued to put pressure on the authorities to ensure the recovery of social activist Raza Mahmood Khan who went missing on December 2 as the world celebrated International Human Rights Day to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which turns 70 next year.

Activists and concerned citizens took to social media using the hashtag #FindRaza to demand the recovery of the activist while protests were planned in Karachi and Islamabad on Sunday and at the Lahore Press Club on Monday (tomorrow).

In a statement issued on the eve of Human Rights Day, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said: “In the lead up to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018, HRCP believes that the shrinking space for freedom of expression in Pakistan is extremely disturbing. Stifling citizens’ freedom of expression will lead to the negation of all other human rights.”

Read: Few answers for the families of the disappeared

Raza, convener of Aaghaz-e-Dosti — an initiative to help students from India and Pakistan come closer —went missing after he left for his residence after attending a talk on extremism last Saturday.

His friend Raheem had entered his apartment on December 3 to find all of Raza’s belongings scattered on the floor. The police had pointed out that his computer’s CPU was missing.

Raza's family has announced that they would file a habeas corpus petition for his recovery in the Lahore High Court on Monday and approach the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances as well.


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