Balochistan: Urgent Action As Detained Baloch Men Risk Death
Amnesty International – urgent appeal asking people to write to the Pakistani Government and their own countries diplomatic representatives to take concrete action to stop the increasing number of ‘kill & dump’ operations in Balochistan.
The article below was published by Amnesty International
The body of a Baloch student activist was found on 16 July, five months after he was taken into custody by the paramilitary Frontier Corps. Ten other Baloch men, detained at the same time, are in grave danger of the same fate.
The 10 were taken into custody on 18 February, along with 19 others, during a Frontier Corps search operation in the town of Tutak, in Balochistan's Khuzdar district. Eighteen men have since been released, while the body of Maqsood Qalandarani, an activist with the Baloch Student Organization-Azad, was found in a sack in the Jabal-eNoor area of Balochistan's capital, Quetta, on 16 July. aqsood Qalandarani appeared to have been tortured.
According to local news reports, the police discovered a note in his pockets, saying that he was an “Agent of the Baloch Liberation Army”. The 10, most of whom are from the Qalandarani tribe, have not been seen since. They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment, as well as extrajudicial execution. The bullet-riddled bodies of abducted men, many showing signs of torture, are being found in increasing numbers across Balochistan and illustrate a growing trend of “kill and dump” operations in the province.
Between 24 October 2010 and 31 May 2011, Amnesty International recorded 73 enforced disappearances and 108 possible extrajudicial executions of Baloch activists, teachers, journalists and lawyers. At least 93 people out of the total 108 killed had been subjected to enforced disappearance. The dead men's relatives, and activists, often blame the Frontier Corps.
Please write immediately in Urdu, English or your own language:Expressing concern to the authorities that the 10 men (naming them) have not been seen since 18 February 2011 when witnesses say they were abducted by the Frontier Corps; Urging them to order an immediate and impartial investigation into this apparent enforced disappearance, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice, including those at the highest levels of command; Insisting that if the men are in custody they release them immediately, or transfer them to an official place of detention and charge them promptly with an internationally recognizable offence; Calling on them to ensure that none of the men is tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and that all are allowed immediate and regular access to their families, lawyers of their choice and any medical attention they may require; Expressing concern about the widespread and systematic abduction and targeted killings of political and social activists in Balochistan.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 14 SEPTEMBER 2011 TO:
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
Fax: +92 519213780
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Advisor / Minister for Interior
Room 404, 4th Floor, R Block,
Fax: +92 51 9206380
Salutation: Dear Minister
Sardar Aslam Raisani
Chief Minister of Balochistan
Chief Minister House
Zargoon Road, Quetta
Fax: +92 81 9202280
Salutation: Dear Chief Minister
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Pakistan's Baloch community has been especially targeted for abductions, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions. Non-Baloch communities in Balochistan have also faced the same human rights violations, but in smaller numbers.
Numbers ranging from hundreds to thousands are reported to have been subjected to these violations, but figures are impossible to verify given the secretive nature of the abductions and killings, and the inaccessibility of many regions of Balochistan where these violations occur.
Activists, politicians and student leaders are among those who have been targeted for enforced disappearance, abduction, arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment. The violence takes place in a context of increasing political unrest and Pakistan army operations in Balochistan, in the south-west of the country. The province has a history of insurgency, with local groups advocating greater autonomy and a bigger share of the revenue generated by the province's natural resources, principally natural gas, which they believe now disproportionately benefit other provinces.
The bullet-riddled bodies of those who have been abducted, many showing signs of torture, are being found in increasing numbers across Balochistan. Previously, the bodies of missing people were rarely recovered. The victims’ relatives and Baloch groups accuse Pakistani security forces, particularly the Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies, of perpetrating these “kill and dump” operations. The Frontier Corps is a federal paramilitary force answerable to the federal Interior Ministry. It operates along the border with Afghanistan and Iran and is responsible for maintaining law and order in Balochistan province.
The confrontation between Baloch nationalists and the state is characterised by human rights abuses committed by both sides.