Amnesty International asks Pakistan to end ‘abhorrent enforced disappearances’

Must Read

Genocide is the only option in Balochistan – Pakistani Minister declares

A Pakistani minister in Balochistan, who is de-jure head of security apparatus in the region, has declared that genocide...

Aslam Baloch — The Baloch General – TBP Special report

For seventy years, through ups and downs, successes and failures, with rapid and slow pace, the Balochistan’s...

State’s deadly weapon, Shafiq Mengal – The Balochistan Post report

Strings of suicide bombing in Sindh's Shikarpur city and firing incident on BSO azad's rally in Khuzdar got connected...

Human rights group Amnesty International released a new briefing document detailing the effect of extrajudicial abductions on the family members of the missing persons. The group asked the Pakistani authorities to end the use of enforced disappearances as a tool of state policy.

The brief, titled “Living Ghosts”, was released on Monday and involved interviews of ten family members of people “whose fate remains unknown after they were abducted by Pakistan’s security services.” The researchers spoke to the victims of enforced disappearances who have been now released.

“Enforced disappearance is a cruel practice that has caused indelible pain to hundreds of families in Pakistan over the past two decades”, Rehab Mahamoor, Amnesty’s acting South Asia researcher. He asked the authorities to release the missing persons or inform the family members about their condition. He also asked the authorities to prosecute the people behind these disappearances.

“On top of the untold anguish of losing a loved one and having no idea of their whereabouts or safety, families endure other long-term effects, including ill health and financial problems.”

The group said that under the pretext of America’s “war on terrorism”, Amnesty said that the Pakistani authorities have abducted numerous individuals throughout the country without any evidence or justification. The authorities had confirmed several weeks later that the individuals were detained on charges of treasons, the group said.

Several international and local human rights groups have documented the plight of the victims of enforced disappearances and their family members in Pakistan, primarily in Balochistan. Pakistan formed a commission in 2011 to investigate the enforced disappearances, but the commission has been chastised for its failure to address the rights crisis gripping the country.

Pakistan’s lower house also passed a bill earlier this month that, for the first time in the history of the country, criminalized enforced disappearances. The bill defined the act as an “illegal and without lawful authority arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by an agent of the State or by person or group of persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the State.”

The bill is still pending in the upper house of Pakistan and is still pending to officially become law. A controversial section of the bill also criminalizes “false allegations” of enforced disappearances, subject to five-year imprisonment and a stupendous fine of 100,000 rupees.

Amnesty International also pinpointed this section of the bill in the briefing paper. “These amendments provide loopholes for authorities to continue forcibly disappearing people and would discourage families of victims from reporting cases of disappearance”, it said. Amnesty said that the bill is “deeply flawed and does not meet the standards of international human rights law.”

SourceTBP

Latest News

Hub: Highway blocked in protest against police brutality

Transporters in Hub Chowki blocked the main Quetta-Karachi highway at Lakh Badu in protest against the alleged...

Police arrest 19 doctors in Quetta city

Quetta Police arrested at least 19 doctors, protesting in the Red Zone area of the city. Detained doctors were shifted to civil...

Punjabi settler killed in Sindh, SRA claims responsibility

A politician from Punjab province was gunned down in Lalu Rain area of Qambar Shahdadkot district of Sindh, on Saturday.

Govt bans rallies, demonstrations throughout Balochistan

The Balochistan government issued a notification banning rallies, demonstrations and sit-in protests throughout Balochistan. The new ordinance was formulated, proposed and passed...

Pasni Fish Harbour project drowns in corruption

Pasni Fish Harbour project crumbles after directors and managers plunder millions in funds. The eleven-year long Pasni Fish Harbour...