January 12, 2017
NLG International Committee submitted letters to Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain & Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Washington D.C., urging them to ensure the protection of 5 Pakistani Human Rights & Social Media Activists who have gone missing this month.
We are writing on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild International Committee, representing legal advocates throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico supporting global human rights and social justice.
It has come to our attention that Pakistani human rights activists and bloggers Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, and Ahmed Raza Naseer were reported missing earlier this month. The four are well-known for their social media activism and for expressing their views on human rights issues and state policies. Additionally, today we learned that Samar Abbas, president of the Civil Progressive Alliance of Pakistan (CPAP) has also been reported missing. Several reports have provided evidence indicating that these five were subjected to enforced disappearances by Pakistani state security forces.
If they are in custody, we urge Pakistani authorities to immediately disclose their whereabouts and to ensure their protection from torture and other ill-treatment. If they are in custody, we urge Pakistani authorities to ensure that they are given prompt access to their families, lawyers and any medical attention they may require, pending their immediate and unconditional release. We also call on authorities to ensure that any investigations into the activities of the disappeared be carried out in a fair and transparent manner.
“Enforced disappearances undermine the deepest values of any society committed to respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms” –Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances A/RES/47/133 (12 February 1993).
We respect the steps that Pakistan has taken to follow the rule of law in protection of these rights and freedoms including the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 2010. We call on Pakistan to adhere to its obligations under the ICCPR and all international and customary law and ensure the protection of these activists.
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