Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed grave alarm over law enforcement personnel abducting and detaining without any charge for 10 days a political activist from Naushero Feroze, as well as over the death of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker Aftab Ahmed, who had been in Rangers’ custody.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission said: “HRCP is greatly alarmed by the 10-day enforced disappearance of Kehar Ansari advocate, who is a lawyer and an activist of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Muhaz (JSQM). His disappearance ended early Wednesday when he was thrown from a vehicle in a critical condition in Jamshoro. Kehar had been picked up by law enforcement personnel from Padidan, Naushero Feroze Link Road. Based on the reports that HRCP has received, Kehar is under great mental stress and is unable to walk. There seems to have been little effort to hold the perpetrators to account.
“Also tragic is the death of Irshad Channa, who was among six JSQM activists injured in firing by law enforcement agency personnel on May 2 during a JSQM sit-in at Naushero Feroze Bypass to press for Kehar’s recovery. Channa was hospitalized first in Nawabshah and later moved to Karachi where he died. A case has been registered against 500 participants of the protest in Naushero Feroze and raids are being made to arrest them.
“And then there is the death of MQM worker Aftab Ahmed, who had been in Rangers’ custody before he was taken to a hospital, where he passed away.
“HRCP strongly condemns such actions by those supposed to protect and uphold the law. The demand for justice in Kehar’s case must not end now that his abduction has come to an end. The authorities have a duty to ensure that those involved are identified and brought to justice.
“While HRCP would not wish to coach the authorities on crowd management, from the details that have emerged from Naushero so far, it appears that someone with the appropriate credentials must do exactly that. It is a matter of judicial inquiry to determine whether the force used was necessary or proportionate in the circumstances. Such a probe should be initiated without delay.
“The circumstances of Aftab Ahmed’s death, and why a number of apparently healthy people in Rangers’ custody develop serious health conditions or even die, must not go uninvestigated any longer. It is vital that the action supposedly initiated in a bid to confront lawlessness does not start mimicking the tactics of those it was supposed to bring to justice.”