Journalist Marvi Sirmed's home ransacked; electronic devices, travel documents stolen

Published June 22, 2018
A photo of the ransacked house. — Photo courtesy Raza Rumi
A photo of the ransacked house. — Photo courtesy Raza Rumi

Journalist and activist Marvi Sirmed's laptops and other valuables have been burgled from her home in Islamabad, her husband reported on Thursday.

Manzoor Sirmed reported on Twitter that the family had found their home ransacked upon returning from Lahore after Eid. He said that laptops and other valuables present in the house were taken away.

Daily Times — which Marvi is a correspondent of — reported that two laptops, one smartphone, passports of family members and other travel documents were taken.

Surprisingly, her jewellery — apart from a gold ring and two bangles — was left untouched.

Marvi also told the Daily Times that the 'burglars' had detached her new passports from old ones "and took the valid ones while leaving the expired ones behind".

The publication's editor, Raza Rumi, posted pictures of the ransacked house on Twitter, highlighting the peculiarity of the 'robbery'.

"Everything [was] scanned but only laptops, one smartphone and travel documents [were] taken by the 'thieves'."

Rights organisations, journalists, activists and other prominent Pakistanis expressed their concerns on Twitter over the incident.

The incident adds to growing concerns over what seems to be the systematic targeting of individuals and institutions critical of the state.

Waqas Goraya, a prominent Pakistani blogger based abroad, alleged yesterday that his family had received phone calls and unsolicited visits from personnel said to be representing security agencies. He alleged that his family — especially his elderly parents — were being harassed and threatened with abductions if he did not "shut up" on social media.

Goraya had been one of the bloggers who was disappeared in early 2017. He had later alleged that he was abducted, held and tortured by security agencies for three weeks.

Another prominent journalist/activist, Gul Bukhari, was briefly abducted at the start of this month while on her way to work. She was later released after hours in illegal detention. It is believed that she was targeted for her outspoken views and criticism of anti-democratic forces.

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