Aug 11, 2009

Balochistan: Norwegian Kidnapped From Coastal Highway

Sample ImageDual nationality Pakistan and Norway Baloch Activist illegally detained while visiting his family in Balochistan.

Below is an article published by The Nation :

A Norway national went missing when he was on way to Karachi from Balochistan on August 7 [2009]. Norway Foreign Ministry said that it had taken strict notice of the matter and it will soon contact the Government of Pakistan, The Nation has learnt on Sunday.

Ehsan Arjmandi (38) having dual nationality of Pakistan and Norway is a political activist in Norway. He reached Pakistan a couple of weeks back to visit his family members settled in Turbat and Mand district of Balochistan.

After meeting with his family members in Mand, he left for Karachi on August 7 by an intercity bus titled ‘Aslam Dandahi Coach’. When the bus reached Zero point Coastal Highway near Uttal check post, about 12km away from the Uttal city, some unidentified vehicles intercepted the bus, armed men people got into the bus and took out Ehsan from the bus and covered his head with a black blanket and took him away.

Some of his relatives, while quoting the eyewitness, told The Nation that more than twenty vehicles having resemblance with intelligence agencies vehicles took Ehsan with them. His family members have claimed that Ehsan was taken away by the intelligence agencies.

Ehsan had come in Pakistan after a long time. He is said to be a heart patient and also suffering from asthma and several other diseases, while he was under regular medical treatment on daily basis. His life is in danger as he was taking regular dozes of medicines. If medication is not provided to him, he could not survive during detention, his relatives said.

Ehsan Arjmandi was working in Norway Foreign Ministry for the Norwegian Police Department as Persian and Balochi translator, but he recently left his job as the doctor declared him medically unfit.

Besides taking part in the political activities in Norway, he was also a social activist on the platform of Baloch Anjuman Norway, an NGO. He was among the protesters who staged agitation against former President General (r) Pervez Musharraf during his visit to Norway against the army action in Balochistan.

Similarly, he, along with other human rights political activists, took out the agitation rally against former Prime Minster Shaukat Aziz when he visited Norway.

His family members also claimed that he had never been involved in any anti-state activities, while he took part in the agitation against the previous dictatorship that was right of any person.

A volunteer organisation in Norway, Baloch Human Rights Committee (BHRC) said that they took up the matter of Ehsan with the Foreign Minister of Norway and launched the complaint for his illegal detention, while requested the ministry to contact the Pakistan to set him free.

BHRC claimed that the Norway Ministry has assured them to take the matter seriously, while in this connection the Norway Ministry said it would contact with government of Pakistani on 10 August [2009].

Note: To see UNPO official Statement of Concern on the matter, please click here .