Pakistani Supreme Court Orders Authorities To Present 'Missing Persons'

Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the release of 35 so-called "missing persons" allegedly being held at a military detention center without charge.

The order by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on December 10 came after the authorities on December 7 presented seven of the detainees in court.

Chaudhry ordered the Defense Ministry to produce the remaining 28 detainees, who have allegedly been held at the Malakand jail since 2012. He gave the government a seven-day deadline.

The Supreme Court took up the case after relatives of the 35 detainees launched a legal bid to have authorities prove the detainees are alive.

The case has piled pressure on Pakistan's powerful security and intelligence agencies to give a full account of the hundreds of people who have disappeared after being detained by authorities.

Human rights groups say the number of "missing persons" is in the thousands.