LAHORE: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has reiterated the need for the government to criminalise the enforced disappearances.
In a statement issued on Friday to mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the HRCP said, “Even as we express solidarity with forcibly ‘disappeared’ people and with their friends and families, it is worth reminding ourselves exactly why the phrase ‘missing person’ is a gross understatement in terms of human rights.”
“An enforced disappearance implies the absence of the right to liberty, security and life. It means having no guarantee whatsoever of the right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment. It puts the person entirely out of reach of the right to a fair trial or effective remedy. For victims’ families and friends – and indeed for the public – it excludes the right to know the truth of the circumstances of the disappearance.”
The statement went on to say, “We have no reliable estimates of the number of people in this position – given the enormous discrepancy between official estimates and reports on the ground – is a chilling reminder of why the state cannot afford to stall this issue.”
HRCP demanded of the government to take immediate steps to criminalise enforced disappearances under the Penal Code and replace the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances.
“The findings of the 2010 Judicial Commission on Enforced Disappearances must be made public and implemented. It is also high time that Pakistan ratify the International Convention to Protect All Persons against Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance, and engage productively with the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances,” it concluded.