LAHORE: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday expressed concern over the alleged harassment and intimidation being faced by blogger and human rights activist Ahmad Waqas Goraya.
In a statement issued here, HRCP said that Goraya, who went missing in early January 2017, alleged that he was abducted, held and tortured by security agencies for three weeks. “Although he was later released, it is now his family that is being targeted. Goraya has said that, on 20 June, his elderly parents were threatened directly with abduction and torture to ‘teach me a lesson’,” said the statement.
HRCP also said that it “unequivocally condemned the latest attempt to cow human rights defenders into silence”.
“To use a person’s vulnerable elderly parents as leverage is nothing short of cowardly. Goraya has reportedly been warned to refrain from tweeting or writing, in his words ‘at least till the elections’, is an ominous sign at such a critical point in Pakistan’s democratic development,” said the commission.
The commission also expressed concern over the “growing frequency with which human rights defenders were being targeted”.
“HRCP calls for a public and transparent investigation of the incident to make it clear that such callous attempts to intimidate human rights defenders or their families are unacceptable and unconstitutional. This ugly state of affairs simply cannot be allowed to continue,” concluded the statement.