Enforced Disappearance of Political & HR Activists in Sindh, Pakistan
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There have been over 1,200 known cases of enforced disappearance in Sindh, Pakistan since 2010. The past year has seen a surge in cases with 160 people disappeared since February 2017. Action must be taken to end these egregious human rights violations.
There is a long history of using enforced disappearance as a tactic to silence critics and instill fear in the victims’ families and communities in Pakistan. Security forces in Sindh, Pakistan have been known to abduct victims in broad daylight, sometimes dressed in plainclothes and other times in official vehicles and uniforms. They are able to act with impunity because the government of Pakistan refuses to take meaningful action on allegations of enforced disappearance and has not once brought a perpetrator to justice.
The disappeared are often human rights and political activists or journalists who have spoken out against the government’s policies and actions against Sindhi people, including environmental degradation, the maladaptation of ancestral lands, displacement and the loss of livelihoods, and large-scale development projects without the consultation or consent of the local communities.
Security forces abduct the activists and journalists and hold them incommunicado for anywhere from days to years. Activists such as Allah Wadhayo Mahar, Suhail Raza Bhatti, Suhbat Khoso, and Imran Jokhio have been missing for years without any knowledge of their whereabouts or status. When, and if, the disappeared are returned, there are clear signs of psychological and physical torture. Further, many times they are not released alive, but instead are found dead on roadsides with multiple gunshot wounds.
The friends, families, and communities of the disappeared live in a constant state of fear, both from reprisal if they speak out, and because they know nothing of the fate of their loved ones. We must act to stop these crimes and to work to bring Khadim Arejo, Hidayat Lohar, Nangar Channa, Ghulam Abbas Lund, Bux Ali Mugheri, Inam Bhatti, Mehboob Chandio and scores of other activists and journalists home to their families.
By signing this petition you stand with the people of Sindh to say the Government of Pakistan and Government of Sindh must ratify and enforce the Convention against Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance. All disappeared persons must be released, and if they are accused of a crime, be brought to court for a fair trial. Finally, all perpetrators of enforced disappearances must be held accountable and tried in a court of law. The government must act immediately to end these human rights violations.
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