Pakistan: Alleged abduction and enforced disappearance of Mr. Idris Khattak

21/11/2019
Urgent Appeal

PAK 003 / 1119 / OBS 096
Abduction /
Alleged enforced disappearance
Pakistan
November 21, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Pakistan.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) about the alleged abduction and suspected enforced disappearance of Mr. Idris Khattak, an independent researcher who is documenting human rights violations faced by people in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province and the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Mr. Khattak is also a former consultant of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and current worker of the National Party.

According to the information received, on November 13, 2019, four unidentified men in plain clothes stopped Mr. Idris Khattak’s car as he was on his way from Akora Khattak village to Swabi, at Swabi Motorway Interchange, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, and abducted Mr. Idris Khattak. At the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Mr. Khattak’s fate and whereabouts remained unknown.

Mr. Khattak’s family and Mr. Shahsawar, Mr. Khattak’s driver at the time of the abduction, filed complaints at the Anbar police station.

However the Observatory is deeply concerned by the fact that the authorities have not yet responded to Mr. Khattak’s abduction, which seems to indicate a lack of willingness on their part to investigate the abduction and may amount to acquiescence to the crime [1] that has been allegedly committed.

The Observatory fears that Mr. Khattak may be subject to acts of torture or ill-treatment, as suffered by other victims of enforced disappearance in Pakistan [2]. The Observatory is also concerned that Mr. Khattak suffers from diabetes and needs daily medication.

The Observatory strongly condemns the suspected abduction and enforced disappearance of Mr. Idris Khattak and calls on the Pakistani authorities to immediately take steps to determine his fate and whereabouts, and to carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thorough investigation into the above-mentioned abduction in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Pakistan, urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Mr. Idris Khattak and that of all human rights defenders in Pakistan;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally take steps to determine Mr. Idris Khattak’s fate and whereabouts and, once he has been located, give him full access to his family, legal counsel and medical attention;

iii. Carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thorough investigation into the above-mentioned abduction and enforced disappearance in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against all human rights defenders in Pakistan, and ensure that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals in all circumstances;

v. Conform to the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular with Articles 1 and 12.2;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Pakistan.

Addresses:

• Mr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan; Fax: +92 51 920 8479; Email: secretary@president.gov.pk
• Mr. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Minister in Charge for Interior and Narcotics Control; Fax: +92 51 922 04 04; Email: info@pmo.gov.pk
• Mr. Ijaz Shah, Minister of State for Interior, Fax: +92 51 920 2624, Email: interior.complaintcell@gmail.com
• Ambassador Farukh Amil, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; Fax:022 734 80 85; Email: mission.pakistan@ties.itu.int

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Pakistan located in your country.

***
Paris-Geneva, November 21, 2019

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel and fax FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
• Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

[1] Under Article 2 of the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, ““enforced disappearance” is considered to be the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”
[2] As of June 30, 2019, Pakistan government’s Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance has registered 2,122 unresolved cases. See: https://coioed.pk/missing-persons

Read more
appelobs