Enforced disappearances: Report traces whereabouts of 80 ‘missing persons’

Published: October 22, 2014
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Two reports produced at court showed two detainees had been placed in the ‘black’ category and were declared proven militants. DESIGN: SIDRAH MOIZ KHAN

Two reports produced at court showed two detainees had been placed in the ‘black’ category and were declared proven militants. DESIGN: SIDRAH MOIZ KHAN

PESHAWAR: 

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Home and Tribal Affairs department submitted a new list of people detained at notified internment centres before the Peshawar High Court, stating that authorities traced the whereabouts of another 80 previously missing persons.

On Wednesday, the list was produced before the division bench of Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain during a hearing of 44 petitions against enforced disappearances.

Two reports produced at court showed two detainees had been placed in the ‘black’ category and were declared proven militants. Detainees fall into the black category when they are proven militants, grey when they are suspected militants and white when they are being held on suspicion.

When the bench asked about the future course of action for these suspects, Additional Advocate General Waqar Ahmad said as long as the Action (in aid of civil power) Regulations 2011 was enacted, authorities could hold them at internment centres.

“The power to intern shall be valid from the day this regulation is deemed to have come into force, or the date the order of internment is issued, whichever is earlier, till the continuation of actions in aid of civil power,” says Section 10 of the regulation.

Several families complained to the bench that they were not allowed to meet their detained family members. Those in charge of the Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Bannu and Malakand internment centres were present in court and the division bench directed them to ensure there was no restriction on visitation.

The court also ordered Peshawar Commissioner Munir Azam to submit reports on inmates who fall under his jurisdiction, including two in Khyber Agency and one in Mohmand Agency. He assured the court the reports would be produced accordingly. Shad Muhammad, the father of missing Rashid Ahmad, told the court his son was picked up by unidentified people three years ago and the family last met him at an internment centre in Malakand. However, Shad was later told his son was now being held in Lakki Marwat.

The court directed the centre heads to check their respective centres and produce a complete report of the case.

In the past, four other reports were produced in the high court by the provincial government, confirming the whereabouts of 976 previously missing persons. This latest report was the fifth in the series.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2014.

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