Tragic news from Salman Lateef, brother of the young Lahore-based journalist Zeenat Shehzadi who was trying to help the Indian national Hamid Ansari in detention in Pakistan and was herself ‘disappeared’ in August 2015. Zeenat and Salman’s younger brother Saddam Hussain, 18 years old, who had been pining for his ‘Api’, killed himself last night – hung himself from a tree near their house. They’ve taken him to Sheikhupura / Manawan for burial after Friday prayers. Can’t bear to think of the parents.
Salman was beside himself, couldn’t stop crying. He said that Saddam often asked about Zeenat – he was her special favorite and she would never let anyone scold or hurt him. ‘Humarey paeron taley zameen nickal gayi hai, ham barbad ho gaye…inn logon ko kab sharam aye gi…’ (the earth has gone from under our feet, we are destroyed… when will these people feel any shame). He said the police had come to the hospital and taken the family’s statement that Saddam killed himself in despair about Zeenat ‘but who knows what report they’ll make’
For details on Zeenat and Hamid’s case, see my article in The News on Sunday, Of two disappearances: (Feb 28, 2016) Pakistan should release Indian national Hamid Ansari who has already spent more than three years in detention — and the young journalist Zeenat Shehzadi who was trying to help him.
- Any hope for Hamid & Zeenat? I. A. Rehman in Dawn, Dec 17, 2015
- Of two disappearances, Beena Sarwar in The News on Sunday, Feb 28, 2016
- Zeenat Shahzadi case: ‘Trauma of disappearances haunts families’ – Xari Jalil in Dawn, March 2016
- Zeenat Shahzadi: Fears for missing Pakistan reporter – BBC, May 11, 2016
- Where Is Zeenat Shahzadi? Missing Journalist Is Suspected Victim of Pakistan’s Enforced Disappearances, Global Voices, May 12, 2016