UPDATE (PAKISTAN): Sole witness of attack kidnapped, lawyers and activists beaten by the police


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-60-2002
ISSUES: Enforced disappearances and abductions,

This is an update on the attack at the office of IDAR-O-INSAF (Institute for Justice and Peace) on 25 September 2002, which left seven activists dead and one seriously injured. The sole witness of the incident, Mr. Robin Peeran Ditta (32) was kidnapped by the police and later released. Actually, Mr. Ditta had been illegally held in custody and considered a suspect because only his life was spared. Therefore, his family and lawyers had been feared for his safety and believed that he was being tortured. 

According to the information we received, Mr. Ditta was kidnapped and the lawyers and human rights activists was beaten by the police right after he was released under a court order on 22 October 2002. The police attacked as he came out of court along with his lawyers, human rights activists and IDAR members, forced him into a van and took off. A victim of the attack reported that the police were very brutal. 

Later the police handed him over to his lawyers, and finally to his mother. According to his lawyers and family it is evident that he was tortured in police custody, so he needs a proper medical examination. After the incident, his lawyers and the General Secretary of the Karachi Bar Council held a press conference and strongly condemned the attack. They also filed an application for contempt of court. 

Two weeks ago, Mr. Ditta’s wife filed a petition to the court that he was being illegally held in police custody, demanding his release. However, the police did not produce him. The court again ordered the police to produce him and asked a court member to visit him and check whether he was tortured or not. 


Please send your appeal to the President and Minister of Interior of Pakistan, urging them to guarantee Mr Ditta’s safety and to punish the perpetrators of the kidnapping. 

SAMPLE LETTER (You may use your own words or use the following as a sample) 

Dear Mr. President, 

I am writing to register my serious concern about the safety of Mr. Robin Peera Ditta (32), the sole witness of the attack at the office of IDAR-O-INSAF (Institute for Justice and Peace) on 25 September 2002, which resulted in the deaths of seven persons, and serious injury of one other. I have been informed that Mr. Ditta was illegally confined and investigated by the police since the incident. Even worse, I was shocked to hear that he was kidnapped, and that the police beat up his lawyers and human rights activists right after he was released due to a court order on 22 October 2002. It is also evident that he was tortured while in police custody, even though he was handed over to his family soon after. 

Therefore, I urge you to guarantee his safety and to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future, and to investigate the kidnapping, including whether he was tortured in police custody, and punish the perpetrators as soon as possible. 

I look forward to learning about your prompt action in this matter. 

Thank you. 

Sincerely yours, 



1. General Pervez Musharraf 
Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 
Prime Minister House, Islamabad, 
Email: CE@pak.gov.pk 
Fax: +92 51 9201893, 9201835 or 9204632 
Salutation: Dear General Musharraf 

2. Gen. (R) Moinuddin Haider 
Interior Minister, 
‘R’ Block, Federal Secretariat, 
Email: minister@interior.gov.pk or secretary@interior.gov.pk 
Fax: +92 51 9202642 
Salutation: Dear Minister 

Please send the copy of your appeal to; 

Mr. Khalid Ranjha 
The Federal Minister 
Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights 
S-Block, Pak Secretariat, Islamabad, 
Email: molaw1@comsats.net.pk 
Fax: +92 51 9202628 

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-60-2002
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Enforced disappearances and abductions,