Enforced disappearances are pervasive in Pakistan, with no one held accountable for them. There are thousands of unsolved cases of enforced disappearance and killings of human rights defenders, journalists, political activists, and students. Idris Khattak, a Pakistani human rights defender and researcher on enforced disappearances for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, was himself subjected to enforced disappearance by armed men on November 13, 2019. After an international outcry, the security agencies made the rare admission in June 2020 that he was in their custody. He is charged with espionage. However, his whereabouts still remain unknown. Please call on the Prime Minister of Pakistan to release Idris Khattak, to disclose his whereabouts to his family, and to hold accountable those who abducted him.
Call on Prime Minister of Pakistan to release Idris Khattak
Dear Prime Minister Khan,
I am writing you out of concern for Idris Khattak, a human rights defender and researcher on enforced disappearances for Amnesty International, who was abducted by armed men on 13 November 2019. He was on his way home from Islamabad when his rented car was intercepted near the Swabi Interchange of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. After an international campaign on Idris Khattak’s behalf, Pakistan’s security agencies in June 2020 finally admitted that he was in their custody. He has been charged with espionage under the Official Secrets Act, which could result in a lengthy prison term or even the death sentence. There is little known about the evidence presented against him. His family still has not been informed of his whereabouts.
I am calling on you to:
Release Idris Khattak, unless there is sufficient and credible evidence of an internationally recognized offense; in the event of such evidence, he should be remanded to a civilian court and given a fair trial.
Disclose his whereabouts to his family immediately.
Hold the perpetrators of his abduction accountable.
Amend the draft amendment to the Criminal Penal Code tabled before the Senate to align it with the International Convention of Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Thank you for your consideration.
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