The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday condemned a “burglary-style raid” on the house of its consultant, Maryam Hasan, who edited the recently-released annual report on the state of human rights in Pakistan.
In a press release issued today, the HRCP stated that the house of Hasan, who lives alone in Lahore, was raided Thursday night during a burglary that lasted for over an hour. The two ‘burglars’ took away her laptop, phones, two hard drives, jewellery and some cash.
“They told Hasan, who lives alone, that they had also come the day before, but not committed burglary since she had not been at home,” the statement read.
“They questioned Hasan about her professional engagements and intimidated her in a roundabout manner” before leaving.
HRCP suspects that the two suave raiders were no ordinary thieves and calls on the Government of Punjab to apprehend the culprits and establish their identity. HRCP will hold the provincial authorities responsible for any attempt by state or non-state actors to harass any persons associated with the Commission,” the commission has stated.
Established in 1987, the HRCP is an NGO monitoring human rights violations in Pakistan and seeking their remedy through public campaigns, lobbying and intervention in courts.
Released last week, its damning report titled ‘State of Human Rights in 2017’ highlighted an increase in enforced disappearances and targeted violence against soft targets and raised the issue of curbs on freedoms of expression and association, while appreciating legal progress in other aspects of human rights in Pakistan.
The report said that 313 cases of missing persons received by the missing persons commission still remain unresolved and that 2017 was a troubling year for journalists and bloggers.
“Journalists and bloggers continue to sustain threats, attacks and abductions and blasphemy law serves to coerce people into silence,” the report said.