South Asians for Human Rights, a regional network of human rights defenders, is deeply concerned by the lack of progress in official investigations into the disappearance of Pakistani rights activist Raza Mahmood Khan, who was reported missing two months ago.
Raza, the convenor of Aghaz-e-Dosti, a youth initiative meant to establish solidarity between Indians and Pakistanis, was last seen leaving his office in Lahore around 8pm on 2 December 2017. Raza’s friends found his apartment locked from the outside, with the lights still on. His belongings were scattered on the floor, and the central processing unit of his desktop computer was reported missing.
Through his work, Raza advocated for peaceful coexistence and cooperation between India and Pakistan, whose long-running conflict continues to be one of the largest sources of instability in the South Asian region. SAHR stands with Raza’s family, friends and the broader activist community of Pakistan, as they call for swift and thorough investigations into Raza’s disappearance, and his safe return.
SAHR also notes that Raza is one out of hundreds of Pakistani activists and dissidents who have been abducted in the last few months. As such, we urge the government of Pakistan to expedite investigations into the nearly 1500 cases ending at the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances. We also call on the Pakistani government to initiate steps towards non-recurrence by signing and ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights,