Urgent Action: Activist Faces Forcible Return to Pakistan (Bahrain: UA 11.20)

February 14, 2020

On 6 February 2020, security officers arrested Geelaman Pashteen, a Pashtun human rights activist and supporter of Pakistan’s Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), based on an Interpol Red Notice requesting his extradition to Pakistan. His forcible return to Pakistan would violate international law as he would be at risk of torture and enforced disappearance.



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Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
P.O. Box 547
Government Road
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @khalidalkhalifa
Ambassador Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
3502 International Drive NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 342 1111 I Fax: 202 362 2192
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @BahrainEmbDC
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Your Excellency,

On 6 February 2020, Bahraini security forces arrested a Pakistani national, Hazrat Naeem Abdul Qayum, also known as Geelaman Pashteen, based on an Interpol Red Notice. Geelaman Pashteen is a poet and human rights activist who resides and works in Bahrain. A supporter of Pakistan’s Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), he has been peacefully calling for equality and justice for human rights violations against the Pashtun community in Pakistan.

In 2019, the Pakistani authorities intensified their crackdown on the PTM, which campaigns against human rights abuses – arresting and arbitrarily detaining dozens of its supporters, subjecting them to surveillance, intimidation, prosecution and violence leading to multiple deaths, solely for their peaceful exercise of their human rights.

If returned to Pakistan, Geelaman Pashteen, as a supporter of PTM and peaceful advocate for change, would be at risk of serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearance and torture and other ill-treatment.

I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Geelaman Pashteen and, under no circumstances, deport him to Pakistan or to any other country where he would be at real risk of serious human rights violations. I call on the Bahraini authorities to ensure respect at all times for principle of non-refoulement under customary international law.

Yours sincerely,