A Press Release from Amina Masood, Janjua, whose husband, Masood , joined The Disappeared early in the Afghan War, and has yet to return despite her relentless efforts to find him, and the fact that her organizing has resulted in the freedom of 100s others.. He disappeared from the streets of Rawalpindi Pakistan on his way home from work one day.
I met Amina in Islamabad when I was there in 2012 , and supported her and Fowzia Siddiqui whose sister Aafia Siddiqui was disappeared in Karachi in 2003 along with 3 young children. Aafia turned up in 2008 and has since been imprisoned in the US. Two of them were returned and the youngest, and infant at the time of her abduction, is presumed dead. The eldest child describes their abduction, and the younger one re returned home speaking only American English. But, of course, the US denies having anything to do with their disappearance.
I also met families of youth disappeared from Waziristan during the Afghan war. Most were abducted and sold to the Americans. Many remain to this day, detained without charge in Bagram prison in Afghanistan. The stories are heartbreaking. Ordinary people detained by one happenstance or another and their families left in the dark for years, or perhaps forever.
This is a critical issue in Pakistan and other countries that serve US Interests (as well as some that don’t. I imagine). Disappearing people who might cause problems is an ugly business and when the US is involved, there is a lot of ignorance among those selecting the candidates so the list of the lost, so to speak, has a decidedly random characteristic. Here it is:
30 August 2014
DHR Pakistan (Defence of Human Rights Pakistan) condemns the rampant practice of enforced disappearance going on in Pakistan perpetrated by state forces. It is demanded that all missing persons be surfaced, rehabilitated and compensated immediately. It is further demanded that state of Pakistan immediately ratify UN Convention against enforced disappearance. Government and establishment in Pakistan is unique in the world as it has promulgated two distinct laws in the last three years to provide legal cover to the practice of enforced disappearance and to provide impunity to the perpetrators of this crime. These laws are in stark contrast to the provision of international conscience as depicted by the UN Convention.
DHR has registered and brought into the notice of authorities 2060 cases of enforced disappearances so far with the consent of the families of missing person. The actual number of disappearances could much higher than ten thousand as numerous complaints reach us where families are reluctant to take any legal action for fear of reprisals. Apart from the cases of disappearances registered by DHR Pakistan Government has declared another set of more than 2500 names which are detained in newly formed internment centers under Action in Aid of Civil Power Ordinance. These declared person are no better than missing person because they remain imprisoned in tribal areas where civil administration and courts have no jurisdiction. It appears that authorities has set a policy to terminate most of these interned persons because every other day one or two dead bodies are shipped out of these secret prisons. DHR Pakistan has recorded 94 deaths of these interned persons so far. This is a state of emergency and demands immediate attention of Pakistan courts and local and international human rights bodies.
DHR Pakistan acknowledges the role of Superior Judiciary of the country for its efforts to provide relief to the victims of enforced disappearance. On the other hand all the other departments of state hell bent on continuing this heinous crime. The army, the police and other law enforcement agencies along with other civil departments keeps on defying court orders. Political forces of the country has also failed miserably to play its role. Most political parties renders great verbal support and stand beside the victims when in opposition. But as soon as gains power they forget their commitments shamelessly and close their eyes and pose as if there is every thing in this country but no enforced disappearance.
DHR Pakistan thanks and feels encouraged by the support rendered for the missing person cause by Pakistani expat society ,Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances and other HR bodies.
Amina Masood Janjua
Defence of Human Rights
3rd Floor Majeed Plaza
Rawalpindi sadder, Pakistan.