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Tracing the disappeared

Jul 25, 2008

In its latest report Denying the Undeniable, Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan, Amnesty International confronts Pakistani authorities on the issue of arbitrary detention of hundreds of people on charges of terrorism and not revealing their whereabouts. The report urges the newly elected government to ensure a speedy investigation of such cases.

Denying the Undeniable, Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan

Publisher: Amnesty International, 2008

In this new report, Amnesty International has used affidavits and testimonies to reveal a pattern of security forces, among others, arbitrarily detaining adults and minors, blindfolding victims, and moving them to various detention centers so as to make it difficult to trace them.

Hundreds of people who have disappeared are detained under counter-terrorism measures, justified by Pakistan as part of the US-led war on terror.


This report is the latest in an ongoing campaign by Amnesty International to end the practice of enforced disappearances worldwide.

In 2006, Amnesty International had documented dozens of cases of enforced disappearances in Pakistan, focusing on people who were picked up in counter terrorism measures adopted in the context of the US-led  'war on terror'.

The report also calls on other governments - most notably the United States - to ensure that they are not complicit in, contributing to or tolerating the practice of enforced disappearances.

Many people who have been secretly held in detention centers in Pakistan say they were not only interrogated by Pakistani intelligence agencies, but also by foreign intelligence agents.

Amnesty International demands that the new government of Pakistan should immediately reveal details of where hundreds of missing people are being held, investigate all cases and hold to account those responsible, including the country’s security and intelligence agencies.

Pakistani organisations claim there are at least 563 cases of enforced disappearances.

The report also demands that Pakistan’s new government must reinstate deposed judges who had previously been investigating disappearance cases and were deposed by President Pervez Musharraf when he imposed a state of emergency in the country in November 2007.

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