Rights groups demand release of activist Mohammad Amin in Pakistan

The 26-year-old activist was forcibly picked up from his residence in Karachi on July 14 and remains missing. Rights groups have blamed security forces for harassing his family and demanded his immediate release

July 30, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Missing Pakistani activist
Missing Progressive Youth Alliance activist Mohammad Amin.

Following the abduction of 26-year-old Pakistani political activist Mohammad Amin, allegedly by the country’s security forces, rights groups have started a solidarity campaign for his release. Amin was forcibly picked up from his residence in Shah Faisal Colony in Karachi on July 14, and continues to remain missing. Last week on July 21, several human rights groups organized a demonstration in Karachi demanding Amin’s immediate release. Amin is associated with the Progressive Youth Alliance.

Amin’s sister Sairo Bano in a video message confirmed his abduction and alleged, “The same agency who is responsible for his abduction is now threatening and harassing the family for speaking up.” Saira, who is also a member of the Progressive Youth Alliance, called on different workers groups, students unions and comrades to highlight the ongoing human rights violation in Pakistan, and demand the release of her brother. 

Security forces also searched Amin’s house in Karachi without any warrant. “My brother is a great advocate of students rights in the country, he has been a key voice seeking free education for all,” Saira stated.  

Adam Pal, leader of the Red Workers Front, told Peoples Dispatch, “No FIR has been registered for this case, which is quite usual now in such cases. No state institution including the courts has taken responsibility for this abduction. This shows the complete bankruptcy of all legal procedures here. There have been many protests as well, including one in front of Karachi Press Club in which families of other such victims joined.”

Following Amin’s abduction, the family submitted a habeas corpus petition in the high court. However, the court has delayed the hearing of the case till August 7.  According to the family, officials have so far refused to register their complaint and provide any information about Amin’s whereabouts. 

“The struggle will continue until his release and till the end of this barbarity,” Pal said.

Scores of social activists associated with groups including the Progressive Students Collective, Progressive Students Federation, Revolutionary Students Front and Red Workers Front have reiterated in their statements that they have been targeted several times by state authorities and face intimidation. Observers note that the courts, law enforcement departments and political parties in the country seem helpless in providing remedies to such social injustices. 

Due to the prevalent nexus between non-state actors, political parties and businessmen in Pakistan, dissenting voices raised to condemn injustices perpetrated by the security forces or unidentified gunmen are either labelled as traitors or threatened with sedition, allege activists.