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Pakistan NHRI pressures police to find missing activists

Graphic: Pakistan flag against setting sun

The National Commission for Human Rights of Pakistan has urged the Interior Ministry to locate five rights activists and bloggers who have been missing since last week.

Commission member Chaudhary Muhammad Shafique told RFE/RL that the national rights body submitted a request to the Ministry on 12 January, as dozens of activists rallied in Karachi in support of the missing.

"We are trying through our independent investigation to determine what happened ... So far, there are many misconceptions and mysteries going on and nobody is in the position to determine who the real perpetrators are," Shafique said.

The five missing men include university professor Salman Haider, known for criticizing the Taliban and the government over its alleged inaction against militants, and Shi'ite activist Samar Abbas, who heads the Civil Progressive Alliance Pakistan.

In a Facebook post on 19 January, the Commission noted that the "NCHR may not endorse the views of the activists, but their Right to Free Trial and Due Process (Article 10A), Right to Safeguards as to Arrest and Detention (Article 10), and Right to Freedom of Speech (Article 19) will unequivocally be upheld.

"NCHR has taken suo moto action and commits to following the matter to its resolution," the post said.

Date: 20 January 2017

Image credits

  1. Pakistan flag against setting sun - bm1632, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2iZL7LL