PAKISTAN: A front line human rights defender Mr. Baseer Naveed rendered stateless
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The International Human Rights Council, Hong Kong (IHRC-HK) is extremely concerned about the malicious and unlawful actions of government of Pakistan against its Executive Director, Mr. Abdul Baseer Naveed who has become the Stateless—neither is he citizen of Pakistan nor of Hong Kong, where he has been residing since 2006. The Pakistani government has deprived him of his passport, freedom of Movement and right to adopt nationality of his choice.
Mr. Baseer Naveed is highly respected human rights defender who has been raising the individual cases of human rights at international forums particularly at the UN Human Rights Council during its regular Council Sessions. He has represented the cases of enforced disappearances in Pakistan at UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance (WGEID) and written several reports about disappearances.
He has also internationalized the cases of forced conversion of religious minority groups to Islam, Torture, Extra Judicial Killings, police encounters, displacements, Violence against women, Honor Killings, Labour Rights. He also made a strong campaign against the Executions, upholding of Right to Life, Reforms in Criminal Justice System, failure of the rule of law and justice system, Freedom of judiciary. He was senior Researcher at Asian Human Rights Commission-Hong Kong (AHRC) from 2006 to January 2018. During the period of AHRC, he had issued hundreds of Urgent Appeals for the victims/survivors of human rights abuses.
Mr. Baseer is the permanent resident of Hong Kong since 2013, he applied for naturalization of SAR in 2017 which was approved by department of Immigration of Hong Kong on February 12, 2018 he was asked to provide renunciation of his Pakistani nationality and Passport. Mr. Baseer duly applied for renunciation through Pakistan Consulate in Hong Kong, on February 21, 2018. He received the cancellation of his national identity card from NADRA on 29.06.2018. His renunciation was approved in May 2017 by the Immigration and Passport office of Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan. However, in the meantime, some intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Consulate general of Pakistan, Hong Kong submitted adverse reports against him and the same department has cancelled his Renunciation on August 27, 2019, saying “Renunciation Certificate of Pakistan Citizenship cannot be issued as your credentials have not been verified/ recommended by concerned security agency.”
Meanwhile Mr. Baseer’s passport expired on August 11, 2019 and as the Consulate of Pakistan has kept his passport, Mr. Baseer was also deprived of his passport. The situation has become precarious for Mr. Baseer who has been rendered stateless which is unethical and illegal as provided by international norms and conventions. He will not be able to go outside Hong Kong nor will he be able to return to Pakistan.
Pakistan is the elected members of United Nations Human Rights Commission and has ratified all its Conventions and Covenants. The Universal Declaration Human Rights (UDHR) Article 15 of the UDHR provides that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. citizenship and the right to be free from arbitrary deprivation of citizenship is a human rights requiring all states to respect the human rights of all individuals without distinction.
Article 12 of the ICCPR prohibits arbitrarily deprivation of the right to enter his own country. The General Assembly, in its resolution 50/152, also recognized the fundamental nature of the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of nationality. International conventions require States to introduce safeguards to prevent statelessness caused due to loss or deprivation of nationality.
IHRC’S Executive director has been subjected to overt and covert threat on multiple occasions by deep state actors who want to silence him.
The Pakistani Embassy and Consulate have turned against him and is annoyed by his complaint to different authorities in Pakistan. Moreover, Mr. Baseer’s political views have attracted the ire of Embassy and Consulate who are bend on making things difficult for him.
The IHRC requests the UNHRC and other International Forums to intervene in the matters of renowned human rights defender, Baseer Naveed, who has been rendered Stateless by the government of Pakistan, the state in contravention and violation of international practices and norm has arbitrary usurped Mr. Baseers’s right of freedom of movement and right to choose the nationality.
The government of Pakistan should stop the arbitrative actions against the human rights defenders. The concerned officials must be instructed to immediately issue the renunciation certificate to Mr. Baseer which has been pending before the Pakistani Mission Hong Kong and take action against the concerned officers of Pakistan Mission, Hong Kong for keeping his case in limbo for more than a year and three months.
We hope that the issue be amiably resolved without causing any further undue delays and hardship to our Executive Director.
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