Missing IT engineer was victim of enforced disappearance: JIT report

IHC directs police to recover and produce missing citizen at next hearing


Rizwan Shehzad January 28, 2017
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Nearly a year after he was picked up from Sector F-10, law enforcement personnel on Friday finally told the court that a missing software engineer appeared to be the victim of an ‘enforced disappearance’.

This was stated in a report submitted by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating, probing the disappearance of IT Engineer Sajid Mehmood, before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday.

Missing IT engineer: New year brings no news for distraught family

“The relevant state organs have submitted a report to the effect that in their opinion, it probably is a case of enforced disappearance,” noted Justice Athar Minallah as he passed an order in the case.

“The court expects that the JIT shall ensure that the citizen who is alleged to have been missing for a considerable time would be recovered before the next date [to hear the case] is fixed,” Justice Minallah stated.

On Friday, Investigation SP Capt (retd) Muhammad Ilyas appeared before the IHC and submitted the JIT’s report. The report concluded that Mehmood, who had allegedly been abducted from his home in F-10 in March 2016, appeared to be the victim of an enforced disappearance.

Capt Ilyas, who headed the JIT, explained said that the team believes the case fell into the category of enforced disappearance because of the “eyewitness accounts” and “no evidence to contrary”.

Missing IT engineer: Case seems to be an ‘enforced disappearance’, remarks IHC judge

Haider Imtiaz, the counsel for petitioner Mahera Sajid – the wife of the missing software engineer – contended that the JIT’s findings had vindicated the consistent stance of the petitioner. Imtiaz said that now there was no option left for the state but to produce the missing person before the court, in accordance with law.

While appreciating the JIT’s efforts in investigating the case, Justice Minallah directed the JIT to ensure that the missing person is recovered and produced in court in the next hearing.

Following the hearing, the case was adjourned till February 24.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2017.

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