UN calls on Pakistan to locate and return four disappeared social media campaigners
Switzerland: The United Nations human rights expert Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression, David Kaye, has called on Pakistan authorities to make it a top priority and locate, protect and return home four disappeared human rights and social media.
According to news release on un.org, the four men -Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, Salman Haider and Ahmed Raza Naseer- went missing between 4th and 7th January. Mainstream media had accused them of promoting blasphemy, a crime in Pakistan.
"Free expression campaigners and experts have long called for the removal of such practice of criminal blasphemy provisions in Pakistan, which may carry the death penalty. Not only are such laws incapable of coexisting with international human rights law, but they also encourage threats by state and non-state actors seeking to target expression," he added.
The United Nation Special Rapporteur said that "all states have an obligation to promote a diverse space and culture for expression, but such culture does not create itself."
"I strongly urge the Government of Pakistan to take every step possible to locate the four missing social media campaigners and activists, a first step toward reemphasizing its commitment to freedom of expression at the beginning of the year." Said David Kaye.
Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based, a UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not United Nations staff, nor are they paid for their work.