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Freed bloggers go abroad for safety: relatives

ISLAMABAD: Two Pakistani bloggers who vanished earlier this month have left the country fearing for their safety, relatives told AFP on Monday. They were among five men who went missing from various cities in Pakistan. They would not comment on where the men had been held. Their disappearances triggered nationwide protests and raised concerns of...

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 30, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jan 30, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago
Pakistani rights activists hold images of bloggers who have disappeared, during a protest in Lahore on January 12, 2017. -AFP

Pakistani rights activists hold images of bloggers who have disappeared, during a protest in Lahore on January 12, 2017. -AFP

ISLAMABAD: Two Pakistani bloggers who vanished earlier this month have left the country fearing for their safety, relatives told AFP on Monday.

They were among five men who went missing from various cities in Pakistan.

They would not comment on where the men had been held.

Their disappearances triggered nationwide protests and raised concerns of government involvement — claims denied by officials.

Liaqat Ali Goraya, the father of blogger Waqas Goraya, confirmed to AFP that his son was safe and had left the country. But his nephew Abdur Rahman Cheema, whose disappearance at the same time as his son was not reported to the media, was still missing.

“Waqas has gone, we’ve sent him abroad,” said his father, declining to comment on who had held him. Before he went missing, Goraya was based in The Netherlands and had returned to Pakistan for a family wedding.

A source close to the family of blogger Asim Saeed confirmed he too had left the country.

A relative of a third blogger, who asked to remain anonymous, said both he and his family had left their home town and were in hiding.

“We are going to think about it for a few days and assess the situation. If it seems ok, we’ll return, else we’ll try to go abroad,” the relative said.

Zeeshan Haider said his brother, poet and activist Salman Haider, was “fine and safe”.

The whereabouts of the fifth man remain unknown. –AFP

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