Monday, 7 December 2009

Shafi Baloch's ordeal in his own words

Open in new windowShafi Baloch, a student and the Junior Joint Secretary of B.S.O. Azaad, working for the independence of Balochistan has recently been dumped in a deserted area by the Pakistani intelligence agencies after being severely torture. He was arrested by Barori Police and later was disappeared and the police denied ever arresting him. Later on he was admitted to a hospital in Quetta ‘as he was left in seriously wounded’ by his capturers. After treatment he described the methods of tortures that he suffered and tried to draw a picture of what was it like in the secret lock-ups of the Pakistani army. He believes all the torture is inflicted on Baloch detainees in order to create fear in the hearts of the Baloch who are pleading for the independence of their motherland, Balochistan.

Below are the quoted words of Shafi Baloch:

“ I was arrested in front of Bolan Medical College Quetta when I was returning home after attending a public gathering in the college. At the time I was being taken away, I was severely beaten by the officials of Barori police station. In police station I was verbally abused and humiliated in every way possible, they kept on beating me and asking me questions about the contacts I had saved in my cell phone, after being beaten for about two hours I was blindfolded and taken to some higher official where I was welcomed with punches and kicks coming from all the sides.

I didn’t know whether it was police or the army of Pakistan as I was unable to see anything as I was blindfolded. After asking me several questions regarding India’s, Afghanistan’s and America’s involvement in the Baloch freedom movement and not getting satisfactory answers I was taken to some far place as it took quite a while for us to reach there. Each question was asked with a kick or punch on the sensitive parts of my body but I didn’t know even bitter things were about to come. As I was brought to this new place where I was kept in a very dark cell, and I was asked to admit that the Baloch Students Organization ( Azaad) is linked with Armed groups. I said, I am member of BSO –azaad and that we were not involved in the armed struggle against Pakistan army, our organization is unarmed. I didn’t have any idea of what to reply. I was made naked and hanged upside down for about two days. I was not given anything to eat; from time to time some guy came and talked with me in Punjabi (language spoken by the ruling ethnic group in Pakistan). I was asked to admit that I was a terrorist, when I refused to say that he beat me severely.

Once an army official, who looked a quite gentleman with a long beard wrote “Baloch” with a sharp pen on my forehead and then he urinated on that. I was beaten severely by that official and while he was beating me he kept on singing verses from Pakistan’s National anthem and saying “Long Live Pakistan”. I was also given electric shocks after the officer urinated on my face; the electric shocks made me unconscious for a while, but as I came back in my senses further shocks were given so that I may not have a moment of relief.

I was told by an interrogator that the cell in which I was kept in also contained Maulana Farooq Sanjrani, Safar Khan Marri and Hassan Marri (Baloch abductees). I also heard sounds of helicopters landing and taking off outside the area where I was kept. I heard the voice other Baloch friends, who were kept in the adjacent lock-ups, they were speaking with each other in Balochi or Brahvi (languages spoken by Baloch people). The torture I faced was inhuman and barbaric, but I still believe myself amongst the luckier one to come out alive.

I also came to know of Baloch who were physically paralysed and many were mentally ill and had lost their mental capabilities. After being severely tortured in the way I mentioned I was again a day blindfolded and was thrown out of a car on some road, I didn’t know where it was as I was not conscious enough to even recognise people. At the time I was being left I was asked not to speak a word of what had happened to me or else they would kill me, but today I am speaking to let the world know about the conditions of thousands of Baloch that are facing inhuman torture by the hand of Pakistani army and Intelligence agencies.” ... tale-of-torture-cell.html

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