South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a human rights network in the South Asian region, joins in solidarity with Pakistani rights groups in demanding the relevant authorities to ensure the immediate and safe return of Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed and Ahmed Raza Naseer, the four activists missing since the past few days. These activists through the social media have been strongly critical of religious extremism and human rights violations committed by the Pakistan government while taking counter – terrorism measures.
SAHR is alarmed by the trend of increasing threats against the rights activists and diminishing space for civil society in Pakistan due to state centric security policies. SAHR also would like to condemn state and non-state actors’ in South Asia that use enforced and involuntary disappearances as a terror tactic to silence the human rights defenders to voice their resistance against rights violations of the people.
SAHR would like to urge the Pakistani authorities to immediately launch an effective and independent investigation to recover these missing activists. It urges the human rights activists and the groups to monitor the progress of the government’s investigations in this regard until they are found. SAHR also urges the Government of Pakistan to provide protection to those human rights and other activists facing threats and intimidation.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights
Dr. Nimalka Fernando