Concern is mounting for a number of Christian rights activists who all went missing within the same week in Pakistan. The five missing activists were known for their public opposition to the country’s blasphemy laws as well as rights violations committed by Pakistan’s security forces or extremist groups. Demonstrations demanding an investigation into the disappearances have already taken place, but it is unknown whether or not Pakistan will be able to find these missing men.
01/19/2017 Pakistan (Premier) – A Christian advocacy charities expressed deep concern over the wellbeing of four activists who’ve been defending the rights of Christians, who went missing in Pakistan earlier this month.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide says Waqas Goraya and his cousin Asim Saeed, who live in the Netherlands, went missing in the Pakistani city of Lahore on 4 January.
It follows the disappearance of two other activists, Professor Salman Haider Ahmed Raza Naseer, in the capital Islamabad days later.
The group, who regularly speak out against the country’s blasphemy laws which are often used to target Christians, have been charged with blasphemy.
The group runs a blog which documents violations committed by security forces and religious extremists in Pakistan.
Protests have been taking place across the country against the abduction of activists.
Speaking to CSW, Pakistani human rights defender Tahira Abdullah said: “Pakistan must ratify the UN International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the existing Commission in Pakistan must be made independent, autonomous and strong, in order to effectively handle the alleged cases of thousands of reported disappearances over the past 16 years.