Missing human rights activist Sarang Joyo returns home in Karachi

Updated 17 Aug 2020

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According to his father, Sarang was leading the Sindh Sujagi Forum to highlighting Sindh’s issues like repatriation of Afghan refugees from the province, 2017 census, enforced disappearance, etc. — Photo courtesy Twitter
According to his father, Sarang was leading the Sindh Sujagi Forum to highlighting Sindh’s issues like repatriation of Afghan refugees from the province, 2017 census, enforced disappearance, etc. — Photo courtesy Twitter

Human rights activist Sarang Joyo returned to his home in Karachi late on Sunday night, his father said, almost a week after he reportedly went missing.

His father, the well-known Sindhi writer Taj Joyo, said "unknown people had dropped" his son off at Sohrab Goth around 1am, adding that Sarang had then come home in a taxi.

Sarang, 34, is a research associate at the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Karachi.

According to his father, Sarang was leading the Sindh Sujagi Forum to highlight Sindh’s issues like repatriation of Afghan refugees from the province, 2017 census and enforced disappearances among others.

He went missing after leaving his residence in Akhtar Colony, Karachi, at midnight intervening Aug 10 and 11. The Joyo family believes he was picked up by unknown security personnel.

Taj added that on return, his son was tired and did not feel well, upon which the family called a private doctor to check on him. "The doctor advised him to rest," he said.

He said Sarang would perhaps narrate what happened to him later. He questioned who would "compensate the physical and mental damages which Sarang Joyo suffered".

Earlier this week, Taj had refused to receive the presidential Pride of Performance award apparently due to the lack of resolution of Sindh’s "core issues" — ranging from enforced disappearances, usurpation of Sindh’s natural and water resources, denial of national language status to Sindhi language etc.

He was also aggrieved over recent ‘enforced’ disappearance of his son and he had been joining protests outside the Karachi Press Club by family members of missing persons — allegedly picked in different districts of Sindh over the past several months.

Senate panel discusses Joyo's disappearance

Later in the day, Taj Joyo attended a meeting of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights which discussed his son's disappearance.

He said that his son had Rs1,500 when he was "kidnapped" but he had Rs3,000 on his return.

"Sarang kept protesting for recovery of missing persons," he added.

Taj said he had a list of 228 missing persons with him, of which 128 people had been found — who were either in detention or had been freed while no information was available about 80 other people.

Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar of the PPP, who heads the committee, said that Sarang had been released last night after PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and the committee raised the issue. He termed it an "extremely unfortunate incident".