Sindh Human Rights Commission seeks report on enforced disappearances

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KARACHI: Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has written a letter to the Provincial Home Secretary, Director General of Sindh Rangers, Secretary of Law and Inspector General of Police, expressing serious concern over reported enforced disappearances of rights activists in Sindh and asked the officers concerned to provide the Commission information about those cases.

Singed by SHRC Chairperson Justice (Retd.) Majida Razvi, the letter stated: “The Commission is extremely concerned about such reports surfacing in the media and the complaints being received from the families. “

“The Commission has been receiving information through various channels that since last one week dozens of human rights activists have disappeared reportedly by the law enforcement agencies. The families of all the disappeared persons are still unaware of the whereabouts of their beloved ones.”

The letter further said that it was also alleged that the police and other law enforcement agencies personnel had stormed into the houses of the activists without any arrest warrants, which clearly depicted the highhandedness of the officials.

The Commission pointed out that it was a statutory body established under Sindh Protection of Human Rights Act 2011, wherein it was empowered to work as a watchdog for the protection of fundamental human rights across province of Sindh.

Further, Pakistan is signatory to various international treaties such as “Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (1966)” wherein the state is bound to ensure fundamental freedom to the people within parameters ensured in the Pakistani legal framework. Moreover, Pakistan has been granted GSP-Plus status by the European Union over a condition of implementing its associated treaties regarding Fundamental Human Rights.

The Commission has made it clear that it believes that a person alleged of a misconduct or any illegal act must be produced before the relevant court of law and his/her whereabouts must be disclosed to his immediate relatives. Also keeping in view the law of the land, it is the fundamental right of an accused person to have access to fair trial. “This may be taken as top priority matter,” the SHRC letter stated.

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