The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward an appeal from FORUM ASIA concerning the disappearance of a human rights defender and member of the Community Trust Fund (CFT) in Puttalam, Sri Lanka who went missing on 11 February 2010. Complaints to the local police and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka have been made but no active investigation into the case has been seen thus far.
For more information, please contact:
FORUM ASIA Bangkok office
Tel: +66 (0) 2653 2940-1, fax: +66 (0) 2653 2942, E-mail: email@example.com
Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
RE: Disappearance of Mr. Pattani Razeek, Executive Committee Member of FORUM-ASIA
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA) received information that one of the members of its Executive Committee, Mr. Pattani Razeek, has been missing since Thursday, 11 February 2010. Mr. Razeek was last seen in Polonnaruwa, a town in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka.
In the afternoon of 11 February 2010, Mr. Razeek, 55 years old, was in Polonnaruwa in a van together with other staff of his organization, the Community Trust Fund (CTF), on their way home from a mission when their van was intercepted by another vehicle, a white van. In Sri Lanka, white vans have been known to be the preferred vehicles of groups responsible for abductions and disappearances. Mr. Razeek alighted from their vehicle, approached the men in the white van and exchanged greetings in Arabic with them, indicating that the men are Muslim. After talking to them for some minutes, Mr. Razeek went back to his colleagues and told them that he will be joining the group in the white van that according to him was heading to the Eastern provincial town of Valaichchenai. He assured his colleagues that he will be meeting up with them later.
The next day, 12 February 2010, the CTF was informed by the family of Mr. Razeek that he did not arrive home from the mission. Mr. Razeeks family, CTF, and his friends have been searching for him since then.
On 16 February 2010, the family of Mr. Razeek was able to convince the mobile phone company to release some of the phone records coming from Mr. Razeeks mobile phone. The records revealed that a number of short calls were made from Mr. Razeeks mobile phone on the evening of 11 February, the day he was last seen by his colleagues. On 15 February 2010, a call from Mr. Razeeks mobile phone was also made to a CTF driver, but it was missed. When the call was returned, there was no answer. Also on 15 February 2010, a text message was sent from Mr. Razeeks mobile phone to a member of his family. The text message said that he is in Polonnaruwa, the town where he left his colleagues and joined the men in the other vehicle, and that he would be home soon. Since then, there has been no further contact, nor responses to calls and text messages.
The family of Mr. Razeek has lodged a complaint with the local police in their hometown of Puttalam, as well as informed the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka of his disappearance. However, when the family of Mr. Razeek filed the complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, they were not given any file or reference number which they could use to follow up on the case. Moreover, up to this day, nobody from the Commission has been in touch with the family or friends of Mr. Razeek. It should also be noted that although this case has already been reported to police authorities, they have been lethargic and have not been actively pursuing leads to the case.
Mr. Pattani Razeek heads the Community Trust Fund (CTF) as its Managing Trustee. The CTF is a non‐governmental organization based in Sri Lanka that works to protect human rights and promote equality. The CTF provides disaster emergency relief assistance as well as assistance for the people affected by the on‐going civil war in Sri Lanka.
Polonnaruwa is a town in the North‐Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is known to be the main transit point between the Eastern districts of Batticaloa and Amparai and the rest of the island.
Please write letters to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) expressing your deep concern about the disappearance of Mr. Pattani Razeek, urging them to take immediate steps to investigate his disappearance and ascertain his whereabouts and welfare.
Please send your letters to:
MRS. CHANDRA ELLAWALA
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
118, Barnes Place
+ 94 011 2694925, +94 011 2685980
+ 94 011 2685980, +94 011 2685981
Fax +94 2694924, Hotline +94 2689064
MR. MAHINDA BALASURIYA
INSPECTOR GENERAL of POLICE (IGP)
Fax no. +94 11 2 440440
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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