Missing activist: Samar Abbas’ family petitions IHC

Urges court to help recover Samar, protect him from harassment and torture


Our Correspondent February 11, 2017
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Over a month after he went missing from the capital, the family of a Karachi-based social activist approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday, urging the court to recover him.

The family has also urged the court to protect the missing activist from harassment and torture.

Samar Abbas, a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighbourhood in Karachi, had reportedly gone missing during a business trip to the capital last month, around the same time four other bloggers and activists went missing from the capital and in different parts of Punjab.

His family said Samar had travelled to Islamabad on January 3 and they last had contact with him on January 7, when he was in Sector G-11.

A few days after his disappearance, Ramna police registered a case of kidnapping against unidentified people on the complaint of Abbas’ brother Syed Ashar Abbas.

On Saturday, Ashar filed a writ petition in the IHC. In the petition, they maintained that police had failed to adequately probe the case and recover his brother.

“The petitioner’s brother is a law abiding citizen of Pakistan and has never committed any irregularity and he is not nominated in any criminal case in Pakistan. That the petitioner’s brother’s safety and security is the primary responsibility of the defendants, but unfortunately the defendants have failed to perform their duties within the parameters of law,” the petition reads.

Ashar listed the inspector general of Islamabad Police, Islamabad SSP, Ramna Police Station SHO, head of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), secretary Ministry of Interior, as well as chiefs of the civil and military intelligence agencies such as the army’s Inter-Services Intelligence, the civil Intelligence Bureau, as respondents in the case.

The petitioner maintained that fundamental rights of his brother, including freedom of movement, of expression and to profess any religion were being violated.

The petitioner urged the court to direct the respondents to recover Samar, provide him protection, and “to refrain from harassing, threatening or torturing” him.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the IHC is expected to take up the petition on Monday.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2017.

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