Do not extend mandate of Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances: ICJ

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 11 (ANI): The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said the mandate for the Commission of Inquiry of Enforced Disappearance’s (COIED) should not be extended beyond September 14 as it has proven to be a failure in holding perpetrators accountable.

September 11, 2020

World

3 min

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Islamabad [Pakistan], September 11 (ANI): The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said the mandate for the Commission of Inquiry of Enforced Disappearance’s (COIED) should not be extended beyond September 14 as it has proven to be a failure in holding perpetrators accountable.
In an editorial published by Dawn quoting the paper ‘Entrenching Impunity, Denying Redress’, the COIED has only focussed on determining the whereabouts of the missing persons. Of the 6,752 cases it handled since March 2011 (when it was established) 4,642 have “been disposed of” while the remaining 2,110 are still pending.
“Do not extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances beyond 14 September 2020, when its current tenure expires. Make public the final report of the Commission and make public the report of the judicial commission that preceded the COIED,” the paper read.
This also appears to be true for the COIED. While the Commission has made some progress in documenting cases of enforced disappearances and “trace the whereabouts” of a number of disappeared people, it has failed in holding perpetrators accountable.
“In its follow up report to its mission to Pakistan, Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), there is a climate of impunity in Pakistan with regard to enforced disappearances and the authorities are not sufficiently dedicated to investigate cases of enforced disappearance and hold the perpetrators accountable,” it added.
“The Commission, however, has not “fixed responsibility” on any person or organization, or directed the registration of FIRs against those responsible for concealing the whereabouts of the disappeared people who were eventually traced in detention centers,” the paper stated.
The paper also pointed out the “lack of structural independence” is problematic as the Ministry of Interior has “authority over law enforcement agencies, which are often involved in enforced disappearances”.
“This structural subordination also explains in part why the Commission is seen to have limited authority over law enforcement and security agencies and why its orders are not complied with, a concern the WGEID also raised in its country report,” it added.
Dawn further reports that there is a question of credibility of the commission as well considering the Chairman Retired Justice Javed Iqbal who is also the head of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The Supreme Court has also in its judgment denounced the NAB for violation of fundamental rights and pursuing a personal vendetta.
Dawn also reported that abductions are not only taking place in the night but in broad daylight as well in busy urban centres. Despite many witnesses, perpetrators are not being traced, let alone their prosecution. (ANI)

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