PAKISTAN: Release Octogenarian leader Ustad Rahimoon, disappeared following arrest
ISSUES: Enforced disappearance, rule of law, impunity, arbitrary arrest and illegal detention,
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the enforced disappearance of a veteran Sindhi Nationalist leader, Ustaad Muhammad Rahimoon, who was arrested from his home. Since his arrest by a contingent of Pakistan Rangers on November 23, his whereabouts are unknown.
A freedom fighter, Rahimon is today a heart patient who suffers from several chronic ailments due to his advanced age. Mr Rahimon is considered the most respected Sindhi nationalist; he has dedicated his life to the cause of establishing ‘Sindhu Desh’. Rahimon’s family fear for his life; they fear that he may succumb to torture and the LEA will conveniently term the cause of death as heart failure.
According to information received, Veteran Sindhi Nationalist Leader and Convener of the proscribed Jeay Sindh Muttahida Movement (JSMM), Ustaad Muhammad Rahimoon, son of Pir Dino Rahimoon, has been abducted by Rangers from his house in village Pir Dino Rahimoon near Kario Ganhwer Golarchi Town of Badin District, Sindh. He was abducted at the crack of dawn on November 23, 2016.
Mr. Rahimoon is considered an authority figure in Sindhi nationalism He also held office as Vice Chairman of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz. However, for the past year and half, he has been inactive in political circles due to his advanced age. The 80-year-old Ustad Rahimoon was a senior leader of the Sindhi Nationalism Movement. But he limited his political activities following several heart surgeries’ he is also diabetic and is unable to move much outside his house.
Following his arrest, for three hours, activists of the Sindhi Nationalist Party blocked the main road at Kario Ganhwar Golarchi. Azeem Rahimoon Nephew of Ustad Rahimoon told the media that Police and Rangers imposed a semi-curfew in the area under the pretext of searching for a murderer. Rahimoon’s family members were harassed and beaten by Rangers’ officials who inquired about Rahimon’s son before taking him away.
Rahimoon is a popular figure in his area, and as per the media reports a complete shutdown was observed in Kario Ghanwar and some other towns of Badin District in the first half of the day as soon as the news about his alleged arrest spread. District Superintendent Police (DSP) Ali Raza Laghari ensured the protestors that Rahimon will soon be released. Following the assurance, protestors dispersed peacefully. Later, however, the Kario police denied the arrest altogether.
According to Dawn news, earlier in February 2016, Ustad Rahimoon was injured when police resorted to a baton-charge and shelling to quell a demonstration in Badin against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The party leaders of Jeay Sindh Liberal Front (JSLF) have termed the law enforcement agencies’ action a violation of fundamental human rights, and vowed to launch a phase-wise struggle against such violations.
Please write to the authorities listed below calling them to immediately recover Ustad Rahimoon from the Pakistan Rangers who, following his arrest, disappeared him. The government and Pakistan will be responsible if any harm is done to Ustad Rahimoon’s life. Please ask the authorities to quash all charges against him and release him immediately.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance (WGEID) calling for their intervention into this matter.