ISLAMABAD: An anti-drone activist Kareem Khan, who went missing after being kidnapped from his house in Rawalpindi, has been freed after being tortured and interrogated, his lawyer Shahzad Akber said on Friday.
Khan was freed after the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered the government to produce him on February 20 or provide the reason for his detention.
The lawyer said that Khan was bundled into a van blindfolded and pushed off onto the road in the early hours of Friday morning in the Tarnol suburb of Islamabad.
“He has been released,” Akber said. “His hands weren’t tied and he was able to remove his blindfold and took a taxi home after asking where he was.”
Akber described Khan as “pretty shaken up, tortured, beaten up, questioned, put in a cell, and handcuffed”.
“He was questioned about names and people in Waziristan. Many names he did not know about. He was questioned about his drone work, and was told not to speak to media otherwise they will come back for them,” Akber said.
Khan, whose brother and teenage son were killed in a US drone attack that targeted his home in the tribal area of North Waziristan in December 2009, was kidnapped from his house by 15 to 20 men in the early hours of February 5, just days before he was due to testify before European parliamentarians, his lawyer Shahzad Akbar said.
Kareem Khan was fighting a legal case in which he had named both the CIA’s former station chief and the government for their roles in the US drone campaign in the country’s tribal areas.
Last Saturday, he was due to travel to Europe to speak with German, Dutch and British parliamentarians about his personal experience with drone strikes and the impact they are having on his country.