HRCP demands release of activist picked up in Turbat

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has slammed the ‘disappearance’ of one of its activists, Shahdad Mumtaz, in Turbat and demanded that Shahdad must be accorded due process if he is suspected of any crime, or immediately released by the security forces that had detained him on Saturday.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Commission said HRCP is gravely concerned over the detention of Shahdad Mumtaz by the security forces, especially in view of the fact that it appears so far that Shahdad has become a victim of enforced disappearance.

The Commission said that HRCP unequivocally condemns arbitrary arrest and detention of all citizens, but is particularly concerned when human rights defenders and conscious citizens engaged in human rights work are targeted, apparently on account of their work. That appears to be the situation in Shahdad’s case, who does not have any history of indulgence in crime.

“HRCP demands that if Shahdad is suspected of any crime the charges against him must be laid out and he must be produced in court without delay and afforded all due process rights. However, if he has not done anything wrong he must be immediately released”, the Commission added.

“HRCP also strongly urges the authorities, especially the prime minister and the Balochistan chief minister to put in place effective oversight of the security forces’ actions, to make sure that they do not violate citizens’ rights and also to provide effective redress to the citizens whose rights are infringed”, the Commission concluded. DNA

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