Amnesty International demands recovery of missing social activist

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ISLAMABAD: International rights organization Amnesty International, in a statement issued on Wednesday has demanded that the Pakistani government immediately ensure the recovery of missing Lahore-based activist Raza Khan.

“The Pakistani authorities must take all measures as may be necessary to investigate Raza Khan’s fate immediately,” Amnesty’s Deputy South Asia Director Dinushika Dissanayake said.

“Scarcely does a week go by without Amnesty International receiving reports of people going missing in Pakistan,” Dissanayake said. “Many of them may have been subjected to enforced disappearances, which is a crime under international law.” In October, Pakistan was elected to the UN Human Rights Council on a pledge to uphold universal human rights for all. But we’ve seen few effective attempts to investigate these disappearances and no one has ever been held accountable for them,” he added.

Raza had gone missing from his residence in Model Colony in Naseerabad on December 2. A convener of Aghaz-i-Dosti, a friendship initiative between the youth of India and Pakistan, Raza had gone to his residence after a meeting with friends last Saturday. On failing to find Raza, his brother Hamid Nasir had approached the police and lodged a kidnap complaint.

The incident has caused serious concern among Raza’s family members and friends, he said. The complainant told the police that Raza was also associated with Lowkey Lokai, another community initiative aimed at holding dialogues and debates on the issues critical to building a peaceful society.

Raza had attended a meeting of the initiative on Saturday, Nasir said. Naseerabad police have registered a case against unidentified person(s) for kidnapping Raza. -Agencies

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