Five Pakistani activists have gone missing. Nobody has claimed responsibility, and the family members haven’t got any ransom calls.
What were the activists doing?
They were all active social media-based campaigners for human rights and critical of the military and its support for militancy. They challenged the extremist narrative propagated by the fundamentalist groups and promoted the idea of a modern, inclusive Pakistan, largely through Facebook posts and blogs.
This is not the first time activists and writers critical of the military-terror complex have come under attack in Pakistan. For years both the security apparatus and militant groups have used force to silence critics. This time the victims are social media activists.
Freedom of speech and freedom of press in Pakistan:
In Pakistan where television faces censorship and the print media is under pressure, social media platforms are a thriving space where people express views without fear. Whoever is behind the disappearances is targeting such free debates.