Protesters in Pakistan demand release of missing activist Amar Fayaz

Amar Fayaz, a member of the Progressive Youth Alliance, was abducted from Sindh’s Jamshoro three weeks ago in what the protesters claim was an enforced disappearance by the security forces. They have demanded his immediate release

December 03, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Pakistan activist abducted
(Photo: PYA/Twitter)

On December 30, Monday, a protest was held at the Lahore Press Club in Pakistan against the enforced abduction of political activist Amar Fayaz, who was picked up by unidentified persons from Sindh’s Jamshoro on November 8. He remains missing ever since. Protesters accused the security forces of subjecting him to enforced disappearance and are demanding his immediate release.

Protesters on Monday chanted slogans and carried banners as they marched towards the gate of the Press Club with messages such as “Stop abduction of political activists”, “Stop enforced disappearances” and “In solidarity with students and farmers”. 

The police have so far failed to trace Fayaz or show any registered case against him. One of the protesters, Anam Banoo said, “What crime has our comrade committed? Is asking for free education for all, asking for employment, and demanding relaxation in price of basic commodities a crime in Pakistan.”

33-year-old Fayaz was abducted by unidentified men who arrived in two cars outside the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences in Jamshoro, Sindh. He is a post-graduate in journalism from Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, and is associated with the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA). His activism has focused on issues such as education, unemployment, and restoration of student unions. Prior to his abduction, he had completed the translation of Alan Woods’ work, “The Relevance of Marxism Today”, in Sindhi language.

According to members of the PYA, illegal abductions of political workers have become commonplace in the region. The alliance also claimed that the victims are often severely tortured after being abducted and “kept in inhuman conditions without any legal authority”. 

“If Amar Fayaz has committed any crime, he should be presented before a court of law and a legal case should be registered against him,” PYA noted. “We condemn such abductions by the secret services and demand that all these abducted political workers should either be produced before the courts if there is any case against them or be released immediately.”