21 January 2018
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  • » 01/30/2017, 09.56


    Missing activist professor reappears

    Salman Haider had disappeared in Islamabad on January 6th. Before him, two bloggers went missing in Lahore. Another missing blogger makes contact with the family. No news of the president of the Civil Alliance of Progressive Pakistan.


    Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Salman Haider, a famous Pakistani professor and poet and one of the five intellectual activists who disappeared more than three weeks ago, has returned home. This was confirmed by Zeeshan Haider, his brother, who also described his health condition as "good", without adding further details. The situation of the three other bloggers and activists seized, including the president of the Civil Alliance of Progressive Pakistan, remains unknown.

    Haider, a professor at the Fatima Jinnah Women's University in Rawalpindi, disappeared on 6 January on the outskirts of Islamabad, where he was on  a business trip. Countless citizens have spoken out for his release, and those of the other activists including intellectuals, Christian and Muslim religious leaders.

    While the family rejoices for his return, the motivations of those responsible for the kidnapping and detention remain obscure. From the beginning the suspicions have fallen on police, as the professor and other activists had long denounced the rampant religious extremism in the country and the attitude of some radical factions within the security forces and government.

    In particular, Haider led campaigns against enforced disappearances in Balochistan province. A study by the Commission on Enforced Disappearances last December 2016, shows that from 2011 in that province the bodies of 936 missing persons were found.

    In recent weeks, alongside supporters of activists took to the streets to demonstrate, some Islamic extremists made accusations of blasphemy – a crime punishable with the death penalty in Pakistan - against those who demanded the return home of colleagues and friends. One of these extremists, a well-known TV presenter, is under investigation for having incited to undertake violent actions and for spreading "hate speech."

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    See also

    01/02/2017 13:15:00 PAKISTAN
    Missing intellectuals and activists risk death penalty, charged with "blasphemy on social networks."

    The only one to have reappeared is Professor Salman Haider; the other four bloggers are missing for nearly a month. The complaint lodged by Shuhada Foundation. Even if they are acquitted, "their lives will still be miserable."


    24/01/2017 16:38:00 PAKISTAN
    For Pakistani activists, the abduction of intellectuals is a failure of the State

    Prof Salman Haider and four Lahore bloggers have been missing for almost three weeks, possibly kidnapped for criticizing radical elements in the government and the military. Anyone who is accused of a crime should have the right to defend himself in a court of law. Pakistan ranks among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists and human rights defenders.

    28/01/2017 14:38:00 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan bans TV host for hate speech targeting missing activists

    Aamir Liaquat Hussain hosts a programme on Bol TV. In the past, he has been at the centre of controversy for giving abandoned children to childless couples and hosting anti-Ahmadi Islamic radicals. His comments can provoke violent reactions against those calling for the return of five missing intellectuals.

    18/01/2017 09:49:00 PAKISTAN
    Lahore, student tortured for tweeting in favor of missing activists

    Suhail Ahmad studied law at the University Law College and was a distinguished debator. A group of radicals dragged him from his room on campus to a secret location. He was tortured and held hostage for three hours. An investigation opened.


    19/01/2017 13:20:00 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan, Christians and Muslims call for the release of the disappeared activists and intellectuals (Photos)

    The Commission on Human Rights organizes a seminar. Relatives of the abducted intellectuals reject the accusations of blasphemy, brought forward by Islamic radicals. "It's just a move to lock them up behind bars after their eventual release."


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