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Pakistan: Campaign launched for safe return of missing Baloch journalist

Baloch activists to launch campaign for missing Baloch person (Image Credit: @BalochV4Justice)

Several human rights activists and Baloch leaders announced the launch of a social media campaign to find out the whereabouts of Rashid Hussain Brohi, a Baloch journalist and human rights activist missing since 2018.

In a post on Twitter, exiled Pakistani journalist and human rights activist Taha Siddiqui stated: “#SaveRashidHussain who was abducted from Dubai almost 6 years ago. He was then extradited to Pakistan. An appeal to everyone on my list to raise their voice for #RashidHussain and demand that the Pakistani military release him!”

In a video statement posted online, Siddiqui mentioned that the social media campaign would be active from 7 pm to 12 pm Pakistan Time. He elaborated, “Rashid Hussain is a Baloch individual who has been missing since December 2018. He was arrested from Dubai and later handed over to Pakistan’s government. There is evidence that he was brought to Pakistan, but his whereabouts have been unknown ever since.”

Siddiqui urged international human rights defenders to unite and exert pressure on the Pakistani administration to ensure Hussain’s safe return.

Prof. Nida Kirmani from Lahore University of Management Sciences recently shared a video on X, urging individuals to join the campaign advocating for the safe release of Rashid Hussain. In her statement, she emphasized, “Let’s demand Rashid Hussain’s release. His family deserves to know his whereabouts, and they deserve to have Rashid safely reunited with them.”

Previously, the international human rights organization Amnesty International had raised concerns about Hussain’s abduction. Amnesty International communicated the issue with UAE authorities twice in 2019.

In February 2019, Amnesty International stated, “On December 26, 2018, Emirati security forces detained Pakistani national Rashid Hussain Brohi without an arrest warrant. He has been held incommunicado since then. Emirati authorities have not disclosed his location, any cause for arrest, or any charges being raised against him. There are strong indications that Emirati officials are preparing to deport or extrajudicially render Rashid Hussain to Pakistan, where he was involved in Baloch activism prior to moving to the Emirates. There is reason to fear his life would be in danger if he were forcibly returned to Pakistan.”

In July 2019, the human rights organization accused the UAE authorities of forcibly deporting Rashid Hussain Brohi to Pakistan. According to the human rights group, before moving to UAE, Rashid was an activist in the Baloch National Movement in Pakistan.

Amnesty International stated, “On June 22, 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) forcibly returned Rashid Hussain Brohi to Pakistan. Emirati security forces had taken him into custody on 27 October 2019 without an explanation. They held him incommunicado for seven months. Prior to moving to the UAE, Rashid was an activist in the Baloch National Movement in Pakistan. The deportation places his life in danger in Pakistan, due to his ethnicity, and is, therefore, an unlawful forced return.”