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AI questions Pakistan on missing persons

July 23, 2008 at 3:13 AM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 23 (UPI) -- Amnesty International has asked the Pakistani government to provide information on hundreds of people it says have been held in the country's "war on terror."

The human rights group in London said the new government in Pakistan should either "release these 'disappeared' people or transfer them to official places of detention."

In a 50-page report, Amnesty International cited numerous cases of people who have disappeared. At least 563 people remain unaccounted for, the report said.

Amnesty International also called for the reinstatement of judges dismissed by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during his brief emergency rule last year. Some of those fired judges had pressed the government and intelligence agencies to reveal the fate of Pakistan's "disappeared," said the report, which the organization said is based on information from court proceedings and affidavits of victims and witnesses of enforced disappearance.

It said the cases "reveal a pattern of security or other forces arbitrarily detaining people, blindfolding them, and moving them around numerous detention centers so they become almost impossible to trace," adding the government has been "denying the undeniable" on this issue.

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