Pashtun Rights activist Idris Khattak forcibly disappeared

On Wednesday November 13th, Pashtun human rights defender and political activist Muhammad Idris Khattak was kidnapped by unidentified men when he was on his way from Akora Khattak village to Swabi. According to Dawn, “four unidentified men stopped the activist’s car at Swabi Motorway Interchange and kidnapped him.”

Amnesty International issued an appeal to the government of Pakistan on behalf of Mr Khattak “Muhammad Idris Khattak, a Pakistani human rights defender and independent researcher, is feared to have been subjected to an enforced disappearance. No one has seen him since the evening of 13 November when he was taken by men in plain clothes on a motorway between Islamabad and Peshawar. His whereabouts and fate remain unknown to his family. Amnesty International fears that Khattak could be at risk of torture, ill-treatment or worse – as suffered by other victims of enforced disappearance in Pakistan. Khattak is also a patient of diabetes and needs daily medication.”

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also issued a strong statement. “The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has strong reason to believe that this abduction is a possible enforced disappearance, given that the family say there is no evidence of kidnapping for ransom. Mr Khattak has worked with eminent human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and is known for his progressive political views while associated with the National Party. If indeed there are grounds for his detention, these must be established with strict recourse to due process. That the state has not responded to this incident is cause for concern because it reflects indifference towards the grave problem of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, and little respect for the due process of law. HRCP urges the police to cooperate fully with Mr Khattak’s family to trace his whereabouts, and demands that the state take due notice of the incident.”

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