LONDON: In Quetta, Balochistan, family members of the disappeared persons who have been protesting for the last 40 days in a protest camp, gathered in a large number and demonstrated against the abduction of their loved ones. The demonstration was organised by the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP). Nasrullah Baloch, chairman of VBMP, while addressing local journalists said, “The Baloch women are protesting in this cold weather from the last several days and these protests are a slap on the Pakistani authorities who have enforced-disappeared Baloch people in the name of national security.”

He said if there are pieces of evidence against the enforced disappeared people, if they have committed any crimes than they should be brought in the court of law and Pakistani security agencies should stop arbitrary abductions and human rights violations in Balochistan.

In the West, Free Balochistan Movement (FBM), Baloch National Movement (BNM) and Baloch Republican Party (BRP) organised protests to raise Balochistan’s grave human right situation on the Human Rights Day.

The Baloch National Movement (BNM) protested in Australia, Germany and Holland against Pakistan’s human rights violations in Balochistan. In their official statement, BNM appealed to the world community that they should uphold the International Law and Human rights conventions and act against Pakistani state crimes.

Baloch Republican Party (BRP) organised protests in South Korea, Greece, the United Kingdom and Germany in solidarity with the families of Baloch missing persons. BRP spokesperson said: “Jiand Baloch, his brother and father were abducted. A similar incident was reported in Kech district when a student named Dolat Khan was abducted while travelling back in home in Gorkop, Kech.” He urged human rights organisations to intervene in Balochistan, play their due role and save more lives from being lost and put an end to state atrocities in Balochistan.

In New York City, members of the Free Balochistan Movement have organised a protest in the front of Amnesty International USA. They chanted slogans for the freedom of Balochistan and against human rights violations.

In Germany, members of FBM distributed pamphlets during their three-day human rights campaign in Braunschweig. Activists interacted with the public and explained to them about the human rights situation of Balochistan.

FBM Germany member Nawab Barkat said: “The United Nations drafted the University Declaration of Human Rights to stop similar human rights violations which happened in Europe and other parts of the world during the rise of fascism, but now the world is silent when the Pakistan fascist state is killing and dumping bodies of Baloch people. During our protest, we appealed to human rights organisations and the German government to raise the issues of human rights violations and play their part to recover Baloch missing persons.”

In Amsterdam city, members of Free Balochistan Movement arranged an awareness campaign at Amnesty International Netherlands Office. Activists distributed leaflets and highlighted the cases of Baloch Missing Persons.

In London, Free Balochistan Movement organised a protest in the front of Amnesty International office and appealed to the NGO that they should urgently raise their voice to save human lives. Many people participated in the demonstration where they were holding banners and placards against human rights violations. While speaking to the demonstration, International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons’ London coordinator, Professor ShahzavarKarimzadi, said: “Whoever raises voice against Pakistan army and its atrocities, they get abducted. Some days ago, when few Baloch students participated in a pro-human rights protest they were enforced disappeared and when their other fellows protested against the abduction of their friends they were enforced disappeared too.”

Karimzadi said that according to international law, enforced disappearances are regarded as a crime against humanity. When UN adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) in 2006, Pakistan refused to sign it because it has been forcibly disappearing Baloch people from last several decades.

FBM UK branch also submitted a letter to the Amnesty International; the letter highlighted the cases of Baloch women who have been enforced disappeared by Pakistan army in the last few months. “On 7 August 2018, Pakistani forces arrested Adeela Baloch, her six-year-old daughter Surat, four-year-old daughter Sammo and her newborn baby Chammi from Gresha. On 31 July 2018, they abducted Jummal and his wife Bibi Waseema from Gichk area of Panjgur. Pakistani army abducted a 10-year-old Zameer Baloch on 3 July 2018 from Mashkay. About three weeks later, on 23 of July, they abducted his mother Noor Malik 55, and two of his sisters, 22-year-old Haseena and 18-year-old Sameena Baloch. In the same region, four more women were abducted and disappeared on 9 February 2018.  The victims include Lal Bibi, Zar Bibi, KhairBano, Sarah, and their children,” the letter said.

Hyrbyair Marri, the leader of the Free Balochistan Movement, was also expected to speak and highlight the issues of Human rights violations in a conference in New Delhi on 10 December, but the event was postponed by the event organiser Delhi Study Group (DSG) because of some visa issues. Vijay Jolly, president of DSG, issued a statement and said that the event was postponed because Marri’s visa application is still pending and a new date and venue for the conference will be announced soon.

The writer is a student of LL.M. Constitutional Law in Birkbeck, University of London, and a member of Chatham House. He can be reached at @JNBaloch.

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