Activist Working Against Enforced Disappearances Goes Missing Himself
Human rights activist Idris Khattak, who had worked on the missing persons case, has been allegedly kidnapped by unidentified men from near his village of Akora Khattak while he was on his way to Swabi.
The driver of Khattak, who was with him when the incident occurred, told media the he was driving Khattak to Swabi when they were stopped by four unidentified men near Swabi Motorway Interchange, who kidnapped Khattak.
Khattak’s family and driver lodged complaints following the incident, but police have not yet registered a First Information Report (FIR).
Officials have stated that the rights activist was missing but an FIR would be launched after an initial investigation.
The incident was also reported by activists on Twitter, with Jibran Nasir claiming that Khattak was abducted by intelligence agencies, adding that his driver was also abducted but released after three days.
Idris Khattak worker of National Party who has previously worked with @amnesty & @hrw was abducted by Intel agencies 6 days ago on Islamabad Peshawar highway near Swabi Interchange as per his driver who was abducted along with him but released 3 days later #MissingInPakistan pic.twitter.com/o54HQ3rF17
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) November 17, 2019
Moreover, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the arbitrary detention of Idris Khattak and demanded his ‘immediate recovery’.
HRCP demands the immediate recovery of #IdreesKhattak, who has remained associated with progressive politics since his student days. HRCP condemns arbitrary #detentions and urges the Pakistani state to fulfill its constitutional obligations towards its citizens.
— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) November 18, 2019
Rights groups have been campaigning for an end to enforced disappearances since years. The state has always responded with promises to end the practice, but these promises have not been fulfilled.
Idris Khattak was a consultant for the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and had worked on a documentary on missing persons. New York Times journalist Declan Walsh stated in a tweet that the news was worrisome, adding the Idris had joined the ranks of the disappeared.
Worrisome news. Idris Khattak has done sterling work on human rights issues in NW Pakistan, including documenting the cases of the disappeared. Now he has joined their ranks. https://t.co/GjDDNpsMhW
— Declan Walsh (@declanwalsh) November 18, 2019