I write to you out of extreme concern for the life and safety of Muhammad Idris Khattak, a 56-year-old human rights defender and a former consultant with Amnesty International, who is believed to have been forcibly disappeared more than half a year ago by men in plain clothes on 13 November 2019.
Mr. Khattak is a human rights defender and independent researcher, who has documented human rights violations faced by people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
It is distressing that there is no way to know if Mr. Khattak, a patient of diabetes who already requires daily medication, is being protected from the COVID-19 outbreak.
You have previously shown your support for the families of enforced disappearances, even joined them during demonstrations. His daughters Shumaisa and Talia are terrified that the worst has happened to their father.
Few punishments are as cruel as enforced disappearances and not knowing the whereabouts and fate of their loved one is a source of immense pain and anguish for Mr. Khattak’s family. Enforced disappearances have long been a stain on Pakistan’s human rights record. As of 30 June 2019, Pakistan government’s Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance has 2,141 cases unresolved.
I call upon your government to immediately disclose the whereabouts of Idris Khattak to his family, and either immediately release him or ensure that he is brought promptly before a judge in a civilian court to rule on the lawfulness of his arrest or detention.