[NOTICE: The AHRC has developed this automatic letter-sending system using the “button” below. However, in this appeal, we could not include e-mail addresses of some of the Pakistan authorities. We encourage you to send your appeal letters via fax or post to them. Fax numbers and postal addresses of the Pakistan authorities are attached below with this appeal. Thank you.]
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that two family members have been missing after the police arrested them on 11 October 2008. The police have released the 12-year-old son who was also taken with the two and initially acknowledged their arrest. However, they are now denying the arrest and detention.
According to the information received, dozens of police officers in uniform and plain clothes arrested Mr. Mohammad Sharif (55) and his two sons, Master Mohammad Zeeshan (18) and Master Mohammad Hamza (12) from their house at 4:30am on October 11, 2008 and took them to Layyah city Police Station.
The police released Hamza at about one hour later a passing message through him that his father and brother would return home the next day as they wanted to make a minor enquiry from them. In the afternoon on same day, the police claimed that both of them were arrested on charges for promoting religious fundamentalism but no written materials were provided.
Mr. Qamar Shirazi, a brother of Mr. Mohammad Sharif and an activist of Labour Party of Pakistan, identified the police officers as Mr. Malik Mohammed Asharaf, station head officer (SHO) Layyah city police station, Mr. Sakandar Hayat, SHO Hyderabad police station district Bhakar and Mr. Fida Hussain, Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) as well as in charge of central intelligence department (CID) of police, Layyah. According to Qamar, these police officers told him not to worry about the arrestees. However, in the morning of 12 October, the officers denied that Sharif and Zeeshan were in their custody and alleged that some religious groups might have abducted them.
On October 18, Malik Mohammed Asharaf, the SHO asked Qamar to come to the police station where he stated in front of several people that the two were cleared from the allegations of terrorism and would be released the next day from a Lahore intelligence center, which is 500 kilometers from the Layyah city. However, they had not come back. Meanwhile, Qamar also met high police officers of the district including District Police Officer (DPO) who again assured him that both would be released very soon after completion of the investigation. In the meanwhile a petition of habeas corpus was filed in the Lahore high court against the arrest by police and their denial.
On October 27, however, all those officers denied that the father and his son were under police custody. The relatives of the arrestees have been informed that the father and his son were taken away from police by the state intelligence agencies to the Lahore fort, which has been known to the public as torture camp in Punjab province. On October 31, police have replied to the Lahore High court that the missing persons are not in their custody.
Several traders and jewelers and their organizations have petitioned to a number of police stations and administrations claiming that Sharif and his son have nothing to do with the militant organizations and have been known to everyone in the city as they are jewelers. They also held demonstration and rallies demanding their release.
The forced disappearances of political opponents by the state intelligence services continues in spite of newly elected government’s claims that the issue will be solved it comes into power. However, since the formation of the new government no serious moves have been initiated to address the issue. On the contrary, the state intelligence agencies are operating freely with the knowledge of government. Since the formation of the new government about 56 persons, including the latest missing case of father and son, are missing after their arrests, mostly, from the southern province of Balochistan where military operations continue. Some religious groups claim that more than 23 persons, mostly the young and students are missing after arrest.
The AHRC has also issued a statement that Pakistan army is running is at least 52 torture and detention centres throughout the country where the people are kept in incommunicado for several months and torture severely and so many killed or disabled for life. The authorities have done nothing to investigate these cells. Every cantonment area has at least one torture cell which is directly run by the state intelligence agency. The government must demand that the illegal detention and torture centres be shut down and instigate enquiries. (Please refer to AHRC-STM-158-2008)
Please write letters to the authorities listed below urging them to investigate the whereabouts of the arrestees.
To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER
PAKISTAN: A father and a son are missing after their arrest
Name of victims:
1. Mr. Mohammad Sharif, 55, Jeweler by profession
2. Master Mohammad Zeeshan, 18, son of Mr. Mohammad Sharif, student of Bachelor of Science from Punjab University
(Both are residing at Raees Jeweler, Lali nal road, Layyah city, Layyah district Punjab province)
Name of alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Malik Mohammed Asharaf, station head officer (SHO), Layyah city police station, Layyah, Punjab province
2. Mr. Sakandar Hayat, SHO Hyderabad police station district Bhakar, Bhakar, Punjab province
3. Mr. Fida Hussain, Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI), In charge of central intelligence department (CID) of police, Layyah district, Punjab province
Place of incident: victims’ house
Date of incident: at 4:30am on 11 October 2008
I am writing to express my deep concern regarding whereabouts of a father and his son have not been revealed since their arrest by the Layyah and Bahakar police at 4:30am on October 11, 2008.
According to the information received, dozens of police officers led by Mr. Malik Mohammed Asharaf, Station Head Officer (SHO) of Layyah city Police Station, Mr. Sakandar Hayat, SHO Hyderabad Police Station, Bhakar district and Mr. Fida Hussain, Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) as well as in charge of central intelligence department (CID) of police, Layyah came in uniform and plain clothes arrested Mr. Homammad Sharif and his two sons, Master Mohammad Zeeshan and Master Mohammad Hamza from the house at 4:30am on October 11 and took them to Layyah city Police Station where they release Hamza at about one hour later passing message that his father and brother would reach home nest day as they wanted to have some minor enquiry.
I am informed that in the afternoon on same day, the police claimed that the father and his son were arrested on charges for promoting religious fundamentalism and contacted to Mr. Qamar, the brother of Sharif with saying not to worry about the arrestees and in particular the SHO Layyah city Police Station asked him to come to the police station where he told in front of several people that the two were cleared from the allegations of terrorism and would be released on next day from a Lahore intelligence centre, which is 500 kilometers away from the Layyah city.
However, all those officers have denied that the two were under police custody on October 27 and the police who attended to the petition from the family have claimed before the Lahore High Court on October 30 that they neither have arrested nor kept them. Meanwhile, the relatives of the arrestees alleged that the two were taken away by the state intelligence agencies to the Lahore fort in Punjab province.
I thus, urge you to ensure that an impartial investigation in conducted into the police involvement into the arrest and subsequent disappearance of Sharif and his son Zeeshan. I am gravely concern over the police’s action of exonerating themselves from any responsibility to the victim’s arrest and disappearance.
The policemen involved must be investigated to answer the allegations against them; and that the concerned authorities must exhaust all means to locate the victims. The victims’ family should also be properly informed of the action they have taken, if there is any.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
Fax: +92 51 922 1422, 4768 / 920 1893 or 1835
2. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani
Prime Minister House, Islamabad,
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Mr. Farooq Naik
Minister of Law, Justice and Human Rights
S Block Pakistan Secretariat
Fax: +92 51 920 2628
4. Mr. Rehman Malik
Advisor on Minister of Interior
Room No. 404, 4th Floor, R Block,
Fax: +92 51 9202624
Tel: +92 51 9212026
5. Mr. Salman Taseer
Governor of Punjab
Mall Road, Lahore
Fax: +92 42 9200023
6. Mr. Mian Shahbaz Sharif
Chief Minister of Punjab
H-180 Model Town, Lahore
Fax: +92 42 5881383
7. Minister of Law Government of Punjab
8. Chief Secretary of Government of Punjab
Fax: +92 42 7324489
9. Home secretary
Fax: +92 42 9211732
10. Mr. Shakat Javed
Inspector-General of Police/Provincial Police Officer of
Punjab province, Lahore
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (email@example.com)