PAKISTAN: Supreme Court should hear cases of extrajudicial killings of disappeared persons
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
The human rights movement of Pakistan is heartened by the directives of the five-member-bench of the Supreme Court to the Inspectors General of Police (IGPs) to furnish full details of the cases of missing persons registered in their respective provinces. The court also ordered the IGPs to lodge First Information Reports (FIRs) for those cases of missing persons in which evidence is available, failing which action would be initiated against them.
Disappearances in Pakistan have become a routine matter and it has been accepted by the authorities as a normal practice of the law enforcement agencies, including the army and its intelligence agencies. The major political parties, who are in sizeable numbers in the parliament, are also silent on the issue of enforced disappearances and torture in military detention cells. The distress caused by the disappearances is that, despite the departure of the government of President Musharraf, the menace continues under the present civilian government. On average, every month at least five or six persons are abducted and disappeared by plain clothed persons in Balochistan alone. This is frequently done in the presence of police officers who then refuse to lodge FIRs saying that the intelligence agencies are involved.
A new trend has been reported in forced disappearances and that is the extrajudicial killings of the victims. Through this method it is easy for the abductors to wash away all evidence of the disappearance–no question of FIRs, legal process or placing blame. During the period of former President Musharraf, the phenomenon of disappearances started through the state agents, though this process has continued in the civilian government at federal and provincial levels killings through extrajudicial methods is new phase in the disappearances particularly, in the province of Balochistan.
The Supreme Court should also examine this aspect of the extra judicial killings of the disappeared persons. There is sufficient evidence that the following persons were abducted by the plain clothed persons, sometimes in the presence of police officers but after some days their bullet riddled bodies were found on the roadside or in far flung areas in same fashion as those persons who are released from the military torture cells. It is hoped that the Supreme Court five-member-bench will take note of and examine the cases of those persons who were disappeared and who were later found, dead and mutilated on the roadside.
The following is a list received by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) of missing persons who were arrested and who may have been allegedly killed by state intelligence agencies in 2010 and 2011 as claimed by their family members.