HRD working on enforced disappearances abducted
Human rights defender Muhammad Idris Khattak reported on enforced disappearances in Pakistan until he was abducted by state authorities on November 13, 2019 and also disappeared.
In December 2021, there were unconfirmed reports of Idris Khattak being declared guilty of espionage after a secret trial by a military court. Idris’ family and lawyer have yet to receive any information on the status of his court case. His lawyer raised serious fair trial concerns, making the conviction more troubling in light of his initial abduction by state authorities.
Idris was eventually located in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi through the family’s own investigation, and his daughter Talia has visited him in the high security prison ward. There are concerns that he is being denied access to appropriate nutrition despite his medical conditions. He has yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19, further endangering his life given prison overcrowding.
Idris Khattak has worked as a consultant with Amnesty International and other international human rights NGOs. For years, he has documented a wide range of human rights violations and humanitarian crises in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Pakistan’s current government of Imran Khan promised to criminalize enforced disappearances through legislation. However, the bill currently tabled before the Senate falls short of international standards, and its progress is undermined by reports of continued disappearances.