Amina Masood Janjua carried away during a peaceful protest for missing persons
28th April 2015
On this day a year ago i.e, 28th April 2014 families of missing persons were subjected to intense baton charge. Many persons along with Amina Masood Janjua, chairperson of Defence of Human Rights, were beaten and were detained in the police station. They were released on the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and it was promised that responsible shall be brought to justice. The protest sit-in was called off when a parliamentary secretary of Muslim League Nawaz, Maryam Aurangzeb promised that a meeting of Amina Janjua with Mian Nawaz Sharif shall be arranged within a few days. But alas once again this promised was not fulfilled. Neither the perpetrators of baton charge were charged nor the promise of meeting with prime minister could be realized, nor did either enforced disappeared sons of mothers return home. Amina Masood Janjua expressed while talking to a press conference today.
Amina and husband Masood who has been missing for 10 years
Remember that before this incident, leaders of Muslim League Nawaz had made similar promises on two different occasions. Amina Masood janjua further stated, “Our prime goal is recovery of our loved ones whereas to punish the officers who were responsible for the torture on mothers, sisters and kids of missing persons is of minor importance to us. Yet to take action against this atrocity is important not just because it was the order of the Prime Minister but also to show that this government is determined to support human rights defenders. It is the result of lack of action on government’s part that a renowned human rights activist Sabeen Mehmood was shot mercilessly. Such kind of tragedies shall keep on occurring in future too if we did not wake up.
Parents may die before they learn what has happened to their children
Amina Janjua further also told that it has been a decade since movement of missing persons is on the roads. Tens of parents of missing persons have left this world along with dreams of return of their forced disappeared children yet menace of enforced disappearance could not be eliminated from this country. She announced that families of missing persons are ready to bear all kinds of pains for the recovery of their loved ones.
She declared that,” We know that our homeland is facing many problems and dangers. During the past one year government has passed laws to legitimize enforced disappearance, constitution was modified but count of missing persons is increasing by the day. We have been waiting with hopeful silence that our enforced disappeared relatives would be recovered because of the impunity provided to the security forces but there is no improvement in the situations. Silence of government is compelling us to once again take our struggle to roads. In a bid to warn government Mrs Janjua said, “Being responsible citizen peaceful protest is our right. We urge the government of Pakistan to solve the missing person issue. We are oppressed yet but ready to offer any kind of sacrifice for our homeland.
Children growing up without parents that are missing
In the end she told media persons that count of registered missing person’s cases has increased to 2156 by enlistment of 33 new cases in 2015. Only one person has been recovered in the first quarter while dead bodies of five missing persons were either found or handed over by authorities. She also mentioned that it’s been over a year now that Supreme Court has not fixed a single hearing of missing person case.
Amina Masood Janjua
Defence Human Rights
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.