Balochistan: Military whisk away women and children

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On 21 April 2019, at around 09:00 pm Pakistan time, the Frontier Corps FC) cordoned off the Zillag village in district Awaran, Balochistan and took away eight villagers, mostly women and children, to their headquarters in the city after searching the houses without any warrants.

The victims include Shahnáz, wife of Liaqat, their one-year-old child, Farhád and Abdul Hai Sajdi, father of Shahnáz.

The other abducted family members include Sanam, wife of Akhtar, her 5-year-old son Mallén, her newly born daughter Mahdém, Názal mother of Akhtar and his 10-year-old brother, Ijaz.

Remaining members of the family say that the detainees were asked about the locations of Liaqat and Akhtar, who were not at home at the time of this search operation. Most of the men, specially political activists in Balochistan’s villages would not stay at homes as they fear being found and forcibly disappeared by military. Among those who were forcibily disappeared in such previous operations, many would later reappear as dead bodies dumped in the wilderness, the modus operandi is infamously know as the kill and dump policy.

“Liaqat and Akhtar are political activists affiliated with Baloch National Movement”, said France based Dr. Nasim Baloch, organizer of the BNM’s diaspora committee.

Many relatives of Liaqat Sajidi were abducted by security forces and their houses were burnt down, during such operations in their village. Some of his disappeared relatives were later found dead.

Adil Rahim, a cousin of Liaqat and Akhtar, was abducted from main bazar of Awaran in broad daylight in front of the public on 27 Feb 2016 and later the military handed over his bullet riddled dead body to the local hospital, claiming he was killed during a battle, on 19 April 2016. Body of Majid Omar, another abducted person and relative of former student leader, Kamal Baloch, was also handed over at the same time and was killed in the same fake encounter.

Such incidents of collective punishment are against the International Humanitarian Laws and are highly condemnable. HRCB strongly condemns the incident and demands an urgent release of detained victims including infants and children. We also ask responsible authorities in Pakistan to investigate these crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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