Lateef Johar

Retired UAE police sergeant forcibly disappeared in Karachi

A Baloch who previously worked as a sergeant in the United Arab Emirates police has been whisked away by security forces just after he arrived in Karachi.

Haji Abdul Samad, apparently in his sixties, posted a video on the Facebook Page News Gidroshia, saying his brother, Haji Sher Jan, was detained at the Jinnah International Airport on November 30 and asked questions.

The officials allowed him to go home two days later, on December 2, but only after confiscating his passport.

In the video Samad is briefing journalists at the Turbat Press Club. “My brother was interrogated about why his passport had so many stamps of different countries.” He says two female relatives were accompanying his brother when the incident happened.

Six days later, on December 6, security forces stormed his home and whisked him away. The family members were threatened with consequences if they disclosed anything about this.

Sher Jan is missing since then. His brother says the family has no clue to why he has been forcibly disappeared.

Sher Jan has worked with the Dubai police for 38 years. According to the video clip, he is a permanent resident of Balochistan’s Panjgur district but his family is temporarily residing in Kech. He was visiting Karachi along with his two daughters for medical treatment.

Samad urges the provincial and federal government officials, and the judiciary to help him find his brother.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, over 5,000 Baloch have been forcibly disappeared since 2001 when Pakistan military launched its counter-insurgency operations in Balochistan to curb a separatist Baloch insurgency. Local groups and nationalist organizations claim the number of Baloch missing persons is as high as 20,000.

In May 2016, three Baloch men were arrested and disappeared at the Karachi airport after they landed from Germany. They were released many months later.

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Lateef Johar is a human rights activist based in Canada. He is the Deputy Coordinator, Human Rights Council of Balochistan. He regularly comments on the situation in Balochistan

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