KARACHI: An activist who had been holding a sit-in outside the Karachi Press Club against enforced disappearances has been ar­­r­e­sted over terrorism charges, according to his family, friends and the police.

A police spokesperson said in a statement on Friday that Inam Abbasi had been arrested under sections 131 (abetting mutiny, or atte­m­pting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty) and 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) of the Pakistan Penal Code, and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997.

According to the FIR (54/2022) registered on the complaint of sub-ins­pector Nayyar Dean of the Artillery Maidan police station, Mr Abbasi, a leader of Sindh Sabha, held a protest outside the Karachi Press Club on June 22 along with six to seven other people.

During their speeches, they used “derogatory language against the country’s institutions and forces, ins­tigated the citizens against law enforcers and tried to create fear and chaos”, the FIR said.

It alleged that Mr Abbasi and others also provided financial assistance to terror suspects in Sindh.

The police statement said Mr Abbasi was an absconder in the said case.

Meanwhile, Mr Abbasi’s family and activists said he and others held a demonstration outside the KPC three days ago against enforced disappearances. He was arrested on the way to his residence in Clifton.

The activists said Mr Abbasi, who used to be a publisher of a monthly Sindhi language magazine and bookseller, was allegedly taken away a few years ago and returned home after one year of disappearance.

Later, he established the Sindh Sabha organisation and staged a sit-in outside the KPC for several days against disappearances. He also recently led a march from the KPC to Islamabad but was barred at the Sindh-Punjab border by law enforcers.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2022

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