International Day of the Disappeared -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

International Day of the Disappeared

Number of missing people continues to rise: HRCP

The whereabouts of hundreds of missing people remain unknown as disappearances have become a rising trend in Pakistan over the last few years.

From the list of 173 people who were targeted by state agencies, 90 have been traced but there whereabouts are still not known.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), most people targeted belong to nationalist party workers in Sindh and Balochistan or student organisations.

More than 12 people from this list belong to Karachi and their families have no clue of their whereabouts.

In this regard, the International Day of the Disappeared is an annual commemoration to draw attention to the fate of individuals who have been subjected to forced disappearances.

Some of these individuals have been imprisoned at places, which are unknown to their relatives or legal representatives. Many of them have been killed after arrest and the ways in which they have been murdered as well as the place of burials also remain unknown.

In all the cases, the state is responsible either by the direct causing of forced disappearances by its agents. The state is also indirectly responsible as it is unable to explain to the families of the disappeared the whereabouts of persons who have been missing.

Imprisonment under secret or uncertain circumstances is a grave violation of human rights as well as International Humanitarian Law in case of an armed conflict. It is estimated that secret imprisonment is practiced in about 30 countries.

PPI adds: A group of human rights activists and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on the International Day of the Disappeared stressed the need for urgent and serious action to prevent forced disappearances in Asian countries.

A group of 25 human rights activists from Pakistan, China, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, who gathered for the Human Rights School Session of the AHRC for 2007 in Hong Kong, expressed their deepest solidarity with the victims and families of the forced disappearances.

Moreover, they added their concern for a greater effort by the states, civil society and the international community to eliminate the forced disappearances, which are taking place at a large scale in several Asian countries.
Source: The News/PPI
Date:8/30/2007