Monday, October 03, 2011

In Pakistan, a pattern of disappearances

Karin Brulliard/THE WASHINGTON POST – Amina Janjua holds a photo of herself with her husband, Masood Janjua, who disappeared in Peshawar in 2005, and remains missing. She has since formed a network of more than 1,000 families whose relatives have disappeared.

By , The Washington Post, October 3, 2011

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — In between hearings on an employment dispute and a property crime, a lawyer stood in Courtroom 3 on a recent morning to recount what seemed a terrifying offense. Fourteen months ago, he said, civil servant Adil Shah was buying vegetables when he was detained by about 10 men in military and police uniforms, and his family had not seen or heard from him since.

The judge barely blinked. There was no gasp from the wooden benches of the gallery. So routine are the grim cases of enforced disappearances in Pakistan — referred to here as missing persons — that they are now discussed like other chronic woes, such as power cuts and inflation. This northwestern city’s High Court hears five cases a day.
 
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