Thursday Jan 09 2020

Detention of missing persons activist Inamur Rahim 'illegal': LHC

Colonel (r) Inamur Rahim at the District Court in Rawalpindi. Photo: NYT

A judge from the Lahore High Court's Rawalpindi bench on Thursday said that the detention of retired colonel Inamur Rahim — a lawyer who has fought court cases on behalf of the families of several missing persons — was "illegal".

"The detention of retired colonel Inamur Rahim has no legal grounds whatsoever," Justice Mirza Waqas Rauf remarked during the hearing of the case today. 

Former military officer Rahim, who has fought court cases on behalf of the families of several missing persons, was last month abducted from his home in Rawalpindi by unidentified men. 

Also read: Missing persons' lawyer Col (r) Rahim abducted by unidentified men in Rawalpindi: son

After his abduction, his son, Husnain Inam, had filed a complaint in the high court related to the disappearance. Retired brigadier Wasif had filed the complaint, and represented the son in court as his lawyer today. 

During a hearing of the case last week, a representative of the Ministry of Defence had confirmed that retired colonel Rahim was in the custody of law enforcement agencies for interrogation. 

During the proceedings last week, the court had directed the government to produce an official complaint or a First Information Report against Rahim to justify the detention. 

Also read: Missing persons activist Inamur Rahim in state custody, admits government

However, since the government failed to submit documentary proof regarding the complaint against the missing persons activist, Justice Rauf termed the detention illegal in court today. 

The court, while accepting a petition that argued for the release of Inamur Rahim, also directed law enforcement agencies to set the detained lawyer free. 

The abduction of the former colonel

Retired colonel Rahim, according to his son Husnain Inam, was picked up form his home in the Askari 14 housing scheme of the garrison city late at night on December 16 by unidentified men. 

Husnain said that around eight to 10 persons picked up his father from their house. "They gained entry into our house by claiming to be my friend at the door; at that, my mother opened the door," he said. 

"These people were armed, they forcibly entered the bedroom of my parents, and woke up my father before taking him along with them," Husnain said.

According to the son, his father was whisked away in a car with black mirrors, while another vehicle with black mirrors followed behind. "The incident occurred around midnight late on Monday," he added.