Write a letter. Change a life.
Our virtual Write for Rights event is just days away. The registration page is here. As we near December 10, International Human Rights Day, I’m focusing on one of the seven Write for Rights cases each day. Today, I’ll focus on Idris Khattak, a human rights defender in Pakistan.
Idris Khattak investigated government-sanctioned abductions for human rights groups, including Amnesty International. These state-sanctioned kidnappings are also called enforced disappearances or forced disappearances. He himself was abducted on November 13, 2019 as he traveled in a rented car from Islamabad to his home in Peshawar. The Pakistani government has since acknowledged that it has imprisoned him under the Official Secrets Act even though this law only applies to state officials, not civilians. Also, he is set to be tried in the Pakistani military court system, which is known for its disregard of due process and lack of transparency. To this day, no information has been released regarding the specifics of the charges against him. He also suffers from diabetes; and it’s uncertain whether he’s consistently getting the medical care he needs. Pakistan’s current prime minister, Imran Khan, is on the record as stating that forced disappearances are unacceptable; and there have been recent breakthroughs in Idris Khattak’s case, including his being allowed a brief visit by his daughter, Talia Khattak. Nevertheless, his current whereabouts and condition remain unknown. Join us this Human Rights Day as we write letters urging a fair trial in a civilian court for Idris Khattak, or his immediate and unconditional release in lieu of any credible and admissible evidence against him.