PAKISTAN: A writer is missing from December after arrest by Rangers

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ISSUES: Enforced disappearance, torture, illegal detention, justice system, no rule of law 

A senior journalist, Mr. Deedar Ali Shabrani, has been missing since December 16, 2017 after his arrest by the Sindh Rangers. His Karachi residence in Malir, was raided at midnight and more than dozen persons, both in uniform and plain clothed, suspected of being from the intelligence agencies, arrested him. During the process of arrest Shabrani was mistreated and since his arrest his whereabouts are unknown. 

It is considered probable that he is at high risk of torture in order to obtain a confessional statement as is the case when the intelligence agencies hold disappeared persons. There are many reports that disappeared persons were killed extra-judicially while being held incommunicado. Their dead bodies are then dumped on the road side. 

The Sindh government, Sindh police and Sindh Rangers have all denied before the high court that they are holding him. The court did not agree with their statements as there were witnesses present at the time when Shabrani was picked up by men in uniform. The court decided that he must be produced before a court of law. However, the high court is giving long dates between hearings since December and told the family members and petitioners that praying earnestly to God would be better. 

The International Human Rights Council - Hong Kong (IHRCHK) condemns the attitude of the judges of the higher courts who are tolerating the menace of forced disappearances and not bringing the perpetrators to justice. According to the Inquiry Commission of Missing Persons more than 3500 persons are missing. 

Mr. Deedar Ali Shabrani has worked with the Sindhi media news TV channel Dharti Television as a script editor. He has also worked with Sindhi newspapers as a reporter and sub-editor at various times. 

He was an active campaigner against the enforced disappearances in the Sindh province and also telecast programs on based on the interviews of family members of disappeared persons. He has also written poems and articles on the subject of disappearances. Now he himself, has been made a victim of enforced disappearance. Shabrani is known to be apolitical and has never been a member of any political party. His elder brother, Gulab Sindhi, was an activist of the Jeay Sindh Mutehda Movement (JSMM), a Sindh separatist national organization. 

The UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) also acknowledged that it has concerns about the enforced disappearances in Pakistan. 

Amnesty International Amnesty has also issued an urgent appeal on 24 April 2018 on Shabrani’s disappearance; 

Suggested Action

Please write letters to the following authorities through fax, email and by clicking on the blue button which will send all appeals automatically. Please urge them to ensure the safe recovery of disappeared person Mr. Deedar Ali Shabrani, who is missing since December 16, 2017 by the Sindh Rangers and persons from intelligence agencies. The perpetrators must be prosecuted. Please also call upon the judges of higher courts to protect them and release the disappeared persons.


01. Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111,

02. Mr. Murad Ali Shah
Chief Minister of Sindh
The Government of Sindh Province
Karachi, Sindh Province
Fax: +92 21 920 2000

03. Federal Minister of Interior Affairs Ministry of Interior of Pakistan
R Block, Pak Secretariat
Tel: +92 51 9212026
Fax: +92 51 9202624

4. Minister For Human Rights
Through Secretary, Ministry of Human Right
ministry of human rights
State Life Building No. 5, Blue Area, Jinnah Avenue, China Chowk,
Tel: 051-9216620,
Fax: 051-9216621,

5. Mr. Tahir Shahbaz
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
Fax: +92 51 9213452

6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
High Court Building
Saddar, Karachi
Sindh Province
Fax: +92 21 9213220

7. Mr. Anwar Sial
Home Minister,
Government of Sindh
Barrack 79, Pakistan Secretariat
Near MPA hostel
Karachi, Sindh Province
Fax: +92 21 9204456
Tel: +92 21 9201920-1

8. Justice Majida Rizvi
Regional Directorate of Human Rights,
Block no. 5, Sindh Secretariat No.4-A, Frere Road, Karachi.
Ph: 92-21-99205835
Fax: 92-21-99205837

9. Ms. Anis Haroon
Member, National Commission for Human Rights, Government of Pakistan
State Life Building No. 3, Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Phone No. +92 21 99201638
Fax: +92 21 99201641

10. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland