The United nations has declared August 30 as the International Day of the Disappeared to draw attention to the fate of thousands of victims of enforced disappearances in the world.
“In Balochistan, since 2005 there had been more than 8000 enforced disappearances including women and children under the age of twelve years and currently over 1,100 documented Baloch political activist are held in incommunicado by Pakistani Army,” said Imtiaz Baloch, member of the International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, Sweden.
“For the last few weeks the Pakistani Killing machine had intensified and Baloch are shocked over the extreme cases of execution of the political workers, while the said victims were the victims of enforced disappearances. Almost every victim has bullet holes in their heads,” said Imtiaz Baloch.
While the pro-independence groups inside Pakistan held meetings to highlight the issue of enforced disappearances, the Sweden-based International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons plans to hold a sit-in protest in front of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister in London on September 5 at 12 noon.
On Monday, the I.V.B.M.P. sent out an urgent appeal on behalf of Farzana Majeed, sister of a victim, to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
Ms. Majeed said her brother Zakir Majeed, resident of Khuzdar and student of Mehreen University, Lasbela, who is senior vice chairman of the Baloch Students Organization Azad was abducted by Pakistani secret agencies on June 8, 2009 from Mastung in “occupied Balochistan.”
She said the family lodged an F.I.R in the nearest police station and filed petitions in the High Court of Balochistan and the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the highhandedness of the Pakistani law enforcement agencies, but in vain.
She requested the WGEID to prevail upon Islamabad if there is any allegation against her brother, he should be produced before the courts in Pakistan.
The WGEID consists of Jeremy J. Sarkin, who is the Chairperson from South Africa and includes Olivier de Frouville from France; Osman El Hajjé Lebanon; Jasminka Dzumhur from Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Ariel Dulitzky from Argentina.
“Zakir’s continuous disappearance has affected our entire family, specially the education of our siblings,” Banuk Farzana Majeed said.
The WGEID in Geneva took up the cases of Zakir Majeed, Dr. Deen Mohammad Baloch and Ehsan Arjemandi last year, but their families still have no word about their fate.
“We expect action on the part of international institutions for the releasing of zakir majeed and all abducted people,” Farzana Majeed said in a separate email to this reporter .”Their lives are not safe in the custody of secrete agencies of Pakistan.
“Our people are not criminals or thieves. They educated. Doctors, lawyers, professors and students and leaders who are struggling for there basic rights of the Baloch nation. They are in torture cells for a long time.
In July Pakistan interior minister Rahman Malik had confessed to a Norwegina television channel that Norwegian national of Baloch descent, Ehsan Arjemandi was in the custody of Pakistan intelligence. The victim family said Arjemandi has not been produced in any court.
The I.V.B.M.P. held its first teleconference on August 14, and has submitted the forms for Ali Asghar Bangulzai, who was abducted on October 18, 2001 in Quetta; Jalil Reki, who was abducted on February 13, 2009 in Quetta; and Safeer Baloch, Agha Abid and Abdul Sattar Baloch who were abducted on August 15. 2010 from Panjgur.
Comprised of pro-independence writers, intellectuals and activists from United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Balochistan, the more than 20 strong committee is based out of Sweden.
“Torture and kidnap of Balochs in Balochistan by the Pakistani law enforcement, especially the paramilitary forces, have become very common practice since the last few years,” Baloch intellectual and poet Khalid Hayat Jamaldini writes in the The Baluch (www.thebaluch.com). “They kidnap us, arrest us on false charges, torture us, brutally murder us and then throw us away.”
The I.V.B.M.P. has informed the WGEID it is ready to provide the United Nations with as much details as they may need about the 1,100 documented cases of victims of enforced disappearances in Balochistan.
The I.V.B.M.P. has also promptly informed the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, about the recent spate of killings of Baloch activists. These killings were reminiscent of the Pakistani army brutalities in the erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, in 1971.
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