LAHORE  -  International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances will be marked on August 30 in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world.

There are 1,815 pending cases of enforced disappearances across the country, according to the National Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances.

According to NCIED data, cases received up to May 31, 2018 were 5,177 and cases received during June 2018 were 36.

According to statistics shared on commission’s website, the total number of cases of forced disappearance was 5213 and cases disposed of up to 30 June 2018 was 3331. The number of cases disposed of in June 2018 alone was 67.

Total number of disposed of cases of enforced disappearances up to 30 June 2018 was 3,398 and there were 1815 cases up to on 30 June 2018 that were yet to be decided.

The commission held 537 proceedings/hearings during June 2018, 204 in Islamabad, 169 in Karachi, 73 in Lahore and 91 in Quetta.  Amnesty International stated on March 19 this year, “No one has ever been held accountable for an enforced disappearance in Pakistan.”  Pakistan is signatory to international conventions. Last year, the UN Human Rights Council adopted Universal Periodic Review outcome on Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari had expressed in a tweet in the past, “Enforced disappearances can never be acceptable. If someone has broken the law, arrest and charge that person.

Enforced disappearances should always be unacceptable. Nor will this tactic silence rightful criticism!”

Raza Khan, a peace activist also returned back to his family this year after seven months and human rights activists termed it a positive sign in improving human rights situation in Pakistan.

To mark the day, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is organising a seminar at the Lahore Press Club to lobby against enforced disappearances. The seminar will be followed by a demonstration outside the press club.

The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement claimed there were hundreds of missing persons and families of missing persons would turn to protest rallies in Lahore and Peshawar. The movement, which has been criticised for its hard line stance against state institutions, did not produce any list of missing persons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Nations on 21 December 2010, by its resolution 65/209 decided to declare 30 August the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, to be observed beginning in 2011. It also passed International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and

UN General Assembly at the time of adoption of resolution expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction.

According to UN statistics, since 1999 in Kosovo more than 6,000 people have been registered as missing and stated “Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the society.”

Enforced disappearance also includes ongoing harassment of human rights defenders, relatives of victims, witnesses and legal counsel dealing with cases of enforced disappearance.

Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearance in statement on July 20 this year expressed concerns on disappearance of Masood Janjua. “13 years since the enforced disappearance of Masood Janjua, a businessman disappeared on 30th July, 2005 along with his friend Faisal Faraz, 25, engineer from Lahore, while they were travelling in a bus to Peshawar. On this day, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) remembers him and seeks justice for him and his family,” the statement reads.

ENDS/