Islamabad - The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has shown concern over the recent harassment of bloggers and human rights activists.

In a handout, the watchdog said the family of blogger and human rights activist Ahmad Waqass Goraya continues to face harassment and intimidation.

It said Goraya, who went missing in early January 2017, alleged that he was abducted, held and tortured by security agencies for three weeks.

Although he was released later, now his family is being targeted. Goraya said on 20 June his elderly parents were threatened directly with abduction and torture to ‘teach him a lesson’.

"The HRCP unequivocally condemns this latest attempt to cow human rights defenders into silence. To use a person’s vulnerable elderly parents as leverage is nothing short of cowardly. That Goraya has reportedly been warned to refrain from tweeting or writing, in his words “at least till the elections”, is an ominous sign at such a critical point in Pakistan’s democratic development,” the handout added.

Expressing alarm at the growing frequency with which human rights defenders are being targeted, the commission called for a public and transparent investigation into the incident to make it clear that such callous attempts to intimidate human rights defenders or their families are unacceptable and unconstitutional.