Taand, 1st February 2020: We express our deepest concerns over the detention of the internationally recognized leader of the human rights activists, Mr Manzoor Pashteen and members of his close circle. The arrest comes in the context of Pakistani military clampdown on Pashtun human rights activists and dissents who peacefully struggle for stopping forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and perpetual suppression of the Pashtun tribal people.
Manzoor is best known for his open criticism of the Pakistani military atrocities against Pashtun ethnic minority in Pakistan and his campaigns for human rights protection in Pakistan. Since the rise of the Pashtun human rights movement in 2017, Pakistan military arrested, tortured and gruesomely murdered many members of the human rights activists across Pakistan. Pakistan’s infamous military intelligence (ISI) barbarically shackled and humiliated Manzoor Pashteen during the arrest and there is a real risk of his torture.
We believe the Pakistani military and other security and spy agencies are using religious extremism and terrorists as policy tools for keeping the war in Afghanistan and annihilate the physical presence of the Pashtun ethnic minority in Pakistan.
We urge all human rights organizations in the world to take immediate action for the release of Mr. Pashteen and other activists who were arrested on false charges of sedition by the Pakistani military, which has a long history of inexorable crimes against peaceful human rights activists.