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* Sri Lankan activists protest against Pakistani activist's disappearance
Wed, Jun 13, 2018, 12:13 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 12, Colombo: Sri Lankan activists have staged a protest against the disappearance of Pakistani peace activist Raza Mehmood Khan, convener-Pakistan of Aaghaz-e-Dosti, who went missing in December last year.

Sri Lankan activists Sandya Eknaligoda, Sitthi Jameena, Vathana Sunthararaj and Mayuri Inoka and several others expressed solidarity with families of the disappeared in Pakistan in their demand for justice and accountability for the disappeared from the government of Pakistan, the Daily Times reported.

The protest was held Tuesday outside the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo. A petition was also handed over to the Secretary of the High Commission.

Referring to Raza's disappearance, a joint-statement by the Sri Lankan activists said: "Raza is a prominent advocate for reconciliation between India and Pakistan at Aaghaz-e-Dosti, and was abducted after attending an open discussion on extremism in Lahore. His friends and family have been campaigning desperately for his release since, launching the online."

"Enforced disappearances are often used by repressive States as a systematic weapon of "counter-terror" to target dissenting thinkers such as progressive activists, educators, journalists and political opponents; and in the context of Pakistan, ethnic and religious minorities such as Pashtuns, Balochis, Kashmiris, Sindhis and Shias as well," the statement added.

Raza Mahmood Khan has been missing since December 2, 2017. He was "picked up" from him rented home in Lahore by unidentified suspects. Raza was last seen at a public discussion organized at Lowkey-Lokai in the aftermath of the Faizabad protest by religious hardliners.

The Lahore High Court had disposed of Raza's case after having confirmed that alternative investigation agencies such as Commission of Enforced Disappearances were conducting investigation to recover Raza Khan. It has now been six months since Raza disappeared.

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