The disappearance of Pakistani journalist Ali Imran Rahi has sparked outrage in Pakistan, as the second reported case of a media worker being abducted in the country in the past two weeks. Rahi was reportedly harassed by unknown people on Wednesday night, and his family and supporters have called for his safe return.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said it was ‘overwhelmed’ by the news, and urged the authorities to investigate it. Rahi is a strong supporter of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
Rahi’s disappearance follows the abduction of Shoaib Khan, another journalist who is known for his political activism in favour of the PTI government. Khan was also allegedly taken by unknown people a couple of days ago.
The director of the commission’s Lahore chapter, Hussain Naqi, said the two abductions were ‘concerning’ and had put the ‘basic human right to life and liberty’ at risk. He expressed concern that such incidents threatened the freedom of press in the country.
The Lahore Press Club said it was ‘aghast’ at the alarming trend of abductions, and called for urgent action to be taken against those responsible. They also urged the government to ensure that the full facts of the Rahi case were forthcoming and that the incident not be hushed up.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has also called for a prompt investigation into the abductions, and said that such ‘inhuman acts’ will not be tolerated. He added that he had ordered the police ‘to immediately take action and find both journalists’.