Balochistan: Produce victims of enforced disappearances in court.

The HRCB stands with the protesting and grieving families of Balochistan’s missing persons on the eve of Eid ul Fitr. We support their demands for the release of their loved ones abducted and disappeared by the Pakistani military.

Religious and cultural festivals and events are the opportunities for the people of Balochistan to come together, visit their extended families and friends and celebrate their relationships and shared loves. However, the festivals, like Eid, bring more grief to thousands of families while they are already suffering from the forcibly and involuntarily absence and disappearance of their loved ones. Every Eid an other occasions remind them of the happy times with their disappeared ones in the past. The Eid supposed to bring happiness and family reunion. Instead, it becomes a mourning eve for families of the victims of the enforced disappearances in Balochistan.

Instead of staying homes and celebrating Eid, the mothers, kids, and sisters take on the streets to protests demanding justice and release of the victims from the authorities.

We call on the provincial and federal authorities to release the victims or produce them to the courts if they have committed any crime.




Balochistan: Military tortured family members of exiled HR activist

Asadullah, the younger brother of Lateef Johar, an exiled human rights activist and deputy coordinator of our organization was called to the FC (Frontier Corps) camp, located in Gosháng village in Kolwa, Awaran of Balochistan two weeks ago. He was hanged by military men and severely tortured for hours.

It is not the first time that military attacked the family of Johar. In 2015, his mother and sister were tortured by the same force and their houses were burnt to ashes.

Raising the voice against any human rights violations in the society is considered a noble cause across the globe but the situation in Pakistan speak to the contrary. To keep us quiet, the perpetrators do not need to torture our families, instead stop human rights violations and respect civilians’ rights.

We condemn this unlawful action of the military and urge the human rights bodies to raise the issue with Pakistan as it is a member of United Nations Human Rights Council and a state party of human rights conventions. A state party must respect the treaties and conventions it has signed. In case of failure to respect those commitments,  to question the eligibility of a state party.




Swedish authorities must act immediately to find missing Baloch journalist, Sajid Hussain. HRCB

The Human Right Council of Balochistan (HRCB) is deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of senior Baloch journalist and writer, Sajid Hussain, who mysteriously disappeared from Uppsala, Sweden on March 2, 2020.

Mr Hussain was living in Stockholm and decided to shift to a private student accommodation in Uppsala on 2nd of March because of his work and studies. After reaching Uppsala, he remained in contact with his friends until 2:00 pm. However,  his phone went off and he was unable to be reached by his family and friends after that.

HRCB is aware that his friends have informed the Swedish police in Uppsala about his disappearance on 3rd March and officially registered a case on 5th march, but the police did not provide any information on the well-being and whereabouts of Sajid Hussain to his family and friends so far. The case was registered with Missing People Sverige on 5 March as well.

Currently, Sajid Hussain has been serving as the Editor in Chief of Balochistan Times, an online Magazine which was founded by Mr.Hussain in 2015.

The magazine publishes stories in English and Balochi language and has a radio service as well. It focuses on human rights abuses in war torn Balochistan which often goes unreported in Pakistani mainstream media.

Since 2004, Pakistan’s largest province– Balochistan– has been witnessing an insurgent movement. Mr. Hussain has been one of the first journalists in the country reporting on insurgency, human rights abuses, missing persons, drug trade in the province which shares borders with Iran and Afghanistan. He wrote many articles and stories on development of modern Balochi literature, forms of literature, culture heritage and myths of non-developed Balochistan. 

Sajid Hussain started his professional career as a journalist in 2007. Since then, he had worked with Daily Times and The News International, two largest circulated English language dailies in Pakistan. He served as assistant news editor and Deputy chief editor at The News International.

After resigning from The News International, he contributed for Reuters, however due to security reasons he remained anonymous. Mr. Hussain also is a well-known critic and a story writer. He writes in English and in his native language, Balochi.

Because of his journalistic activities, Hussain fled Pakistan in 2012 and lived in self-exile in Oman, United Arab Emirates and Uganda before seeking asylum in Sweden in September 2017. On his arrival in Sweden, Mr. Hussain joined Balochi Language Project in Uppsala University of Linguistics and Philology for promotion and development of Balochi language and literature.

He also was serving as the chief editor of the University’s Balochi-English-Balochi online dictionary. Mr. Hussain started pursuing his master’s degree in Iranian Languages at Uppsala University in 2020.

In the first few weeks of his disappearance, his family urged HRCB to avoid making any statement in this regard to avoid any possible disruption in police investigation, but the police has never provided any information to Sajid’s family on his well being and whereabouts.

Sajid Hussain’s disappearance in Sweden is a great cause of concern for his friends, colleagues, and family. We urge the Swedish authorities to look into this matter and inform his family about his whereabouts and the reasons of his mysterious disappearance.




The HRCB demands immediate disclosure of Zahid Baloch location and health condition

Mr. Zahid was arrested and disappeared from Quetta, Balochistan, on March 18, 2014. He was then the chairman of the Baloch Students Organization Azad (BSO-Azad). His organization and family claim that the Frontier Corps (FC) and secret agencies of Pakistan are the perpetrators of his disappearance.

According to his family, they still have no clue about his whereabouts and health, 6 years after his enforced disappearance. His illegal and forced disappearance was registered with the police, and a petition was also filed in the High Court of Balochistan by his wife, Zar Jan. The Pakistani government has till date taken no action to facilitate his release.

The FIR and the petition papers say that Mr. Zahid was taken away from Mekran Road, Satellite Town, Quetta, after a meeting of BSO leaders. According to the eyewitness, the victim was dragged by the military personnel and thrown into a “white Toyota Corolla car bearing registration No. ANS-272.

HRCB sources reported that the security forces had threatened the victim’s family to withdraw the case from the High Court of Balochistan and UN’s WGEID. This is of increasing concern to HRCB and we fear for his life.

It is also of great concern that six years into this enforced disappearance case, multiple Pakistsni governments have failed to disclose his location or producing him to courts which is not only disturbing to his family members but also to us, as a human rights organization.

Once again, the Human Rights Council of Balochistan asks both provincial and federal authorities to take urgent action to produce Mr. Zahid to the courts in the country. If he has committed any crime, then court procedures should be conducted. We also demand immediate access of his family members to Mr. Zahid.




Arrested women are framed for being families of dissident. BHRO, VBMP

 

Baloch Human Rights Organization and Voice for Baloch Missing Persons staged a protest demonstration in front of Quetta Press Club against enforced disappearances of women and children from Awaran and Dera Bugti and framing them fake cases.

People from different walks of life including civil society members participated in the protest for the safe release of Baloch women. The protesters were carrying play cards and banners denouncing the allegations on women of being facilitator of militants.

Addressing the protestors, Chairperson of Baloch Human Rights Organization Bibi Gul Baloch said that the continuous military operations by security establishments have made the life of ordinary people burdensome for past few years. Initially, political and human rights activists were forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially killed by forces but now women and children are being victimized too.

Photo: BHRO

The chairperson further said, on November 30, 2019, security forces whisked away four women and two minors from different areas of Awaran district. The abductees were identified as Sayad Bibi, Hameeda, Nazal and Sakina. Sakina teenage son Sajid along with another minor Pervaiz was taken into custody on November 25, 2019. Earlier this week, half a dozen Baloch women from Och area of ​​Dera Bugti were illegally detained and then moved to an unknown location.

Violating the international human rights law and constitution of Pakistan, the security forces arrested and tortured Baloch women and later orchestrated a story of the police raid and confiscation of arms and ammunition from women’s possession. In fact, the operation was conducted by the army and the women were abducted from 3 different places in Awaran district. Hameeda and Nazal were abducted from Zeelag Pirandar, Sayad Bibi was abducted from Mashi while Sakina and teenage boys were abducted from Harooni Dann area of Awaran. After 24 hours of interrogation and torture, all four women were handed over to police while the whereabouts of teenage boys are still unknown.

During the protest, Mama Qadeer Baloch, Vice Chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, said that the forced disappearance of women is the continuation of the policy of collective punishment which is seriously concerning and furthermore, charging women in bogus cases is a totally unjust and unlawful act against Baloch people.

The serious violations of human rights in Balochistan are worsening with the passing of each day. However, the role of silent spectators of the government and political parties on the issue has further exacerbated the issue.

Mama Qadeer further said that ignoring such heartbreaking events in the mainstream media suppresses such incidents and the perpetrators continue to violate the human rights laws in Balochistan.




Military should be expelled from Balochistan’s education institutions: HRCB, BHRO

Baloch Human Rights Organization (BHRO) and Human Rights Council of Balochistan (HRCB) are concerned about the harassment scandal emerging out of the University of Balochistan (UoB) that university administration and the security department officials are involved in blackmailing and exploiting female students by recording their candid moments without consent.

According to reports, the security staff of the University of Balochistan (UoB) had installed secret cameras to record candid videos of the students and then to blackmail them. Cameras were installed in places like washrooms and smoking areas, as investigation report says.

Balochistan has been under military siege for the last two decades. Independent journalists and human rights activists are not allowed to enter the region. Therefore, it remains isolated from the rest of the world, yet stories of serious crimes often committed by state institutions keep pouring out.

As a counter-insurgency measure, the country’s powerful army and central government have deployed thousands of soldiers with immense powers in Balochistan. A recent human rights report said over 700 soldiers were stationed at the university campus alone.

In some cases, schools in rural areas have been closed and the premises handed over to the army.
According to a report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan´s fact finding mission, released on October 2, 2019, around 10,000 students were enrolled in the university, being watched by over 700 FC personnel deployed at the UoB, after being declared the zonal Chiltan headquarters of the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force.

The HRCP, before even the UoB scandal exploded, highlighted the complaints of some students that CCTV cameras were installed at their hostel. The report also hints about the harassment and blackmailing taking place at the campus.

The HRCP urged an end to the unwarranted and permanent involvement of the security forces in the affairs of educational institutions.

We, as human rights groups, are looking closely into the progress on the investigation and we are not satisfied. We believe that the FC and military should have been included in the investigation as there have been growing complaints against the FC of blackmailing and exploiting students.

We believe that the latest scandal will also discourage people in the patriarchal Baloch and Pakhtun families living in Balochistan from sending their daughters to school. Girls enrollment rate in Balochistan is already one of the lowests in the world.

We urge the concerned authorities that all the educational institutions be demilitarized and the FC should be made accountable for its growing human rights abuses in the region.




The practice of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution persist in Balochistan. BHRO

The representative of Baloch Human Rights Organization on the International Day of Disappeared issued a statement stating that human rights violations in Balochistan has intensified but the silence of international institutions encouraging forces to commit more human rights violations.

For the last 2 decades, the brutal policies of security forces have turned Balochistan into a humanitarian crisis but international human rights organizations are criminally silent.

On the International Day of the Disappeared, seminars and awareness programs are organized all over the country. Government representatives and activists deliver speeches on the situation of human rights but on the practical ground, no steps have been taken against those institutions who are responsible for the human rights violations in Balochistan and neighboring countries.

He further stated that the families of victims of enforced disappearances are living in uncertainty about the well-being of their loved ones. In recent months, state forces have released few people and in return, abducted many more.

The government and judiciary have failed to address and end enforced disappearances in Balochistan and on the contrary, their deceptive statements regarding enforced disappeared persons are self-evident that the government is an equal partner in crime.

People are being forcibly disappeared on a daily basis but due to media black-out and discrimination of media outlets, the issues of Balochistan never appear on national news which is highly condemnable.

The military institutions are involved in enforced disappearances of thousands of people in Balochistan which they have acknowledged in their recent statement but no one has been presented in any court of justice in Pakistan.

We appeal to the government to practice their constitutional authority and ensure the safe recovery of all enforced disappeared persons




Recover all missing persons including Hafeezullah Baloch: BHRO

The spokesperson of Baloch Human Rights Organization issued a statement stating that, for years, we have been reporting that Army and Intelligence agencies are involved in enforced disappearances of activists and innocent people in Balochistan. On one hand, the country’s highest civil and military institutions have admitted the military’s involvement in enforced disappearances while on the other hand, the enforced disappearances of individuals are systematically continued. 

Major Naveed demanded 6.8 million ransom money in return of Hafeez. His parents sold their lands and borrowed money and paid him the amount he asked for but instead of releasing him, Major Naveed demanded 5 million more. Hafeez’s family could not arrange the amount and went on protesting for Hafeez safe return.

The spokesperson said that after this incident, the army ordered to investigate the allegations. During the investigations, Major Naveed was found guilty and was claimed to sentenced life imprisonment which is appreciable.

The spokesman further added that we appeal to the Army Chief and Government officials to recover and release Hafeezullah and all enforced disappeared persons and return the ransom money and make the perpetrators accountable for such heinous crimes.

Thousands of Baloch activists have been forcefully disappeared from various areas of Balochistan by the security forces and in many cases, the families of victims were forced to pay a huge sum of money for the release of their loved ones which is rubbing salt into the wounds of families. 

We demand that all enforced disappeared persons should be produced in courts and they must be given a chance to prove their innocence.




Balochistan: 250 people were abducted, 17 mutilated bodies found, 34 targeted and killed, in October

Balochistan 5 November 2016:

The chairperson of Baloch Human Rights Organization, BibiGul Baloch issued October, 2016 reports of human rights violations and incidents of extra judicial killings in Balochistan during a press conference at Quetta Press Club. BibiGul told that in the month of October, more than 250 people were abducted by forces in Balochistan in which 100 people were released after few days, whereas 120 people are still missing.

On 04 October, 2016, 26 people were arrested by forces during an operation in Gwarkop, district Kech and have gone missing. Baloch Student Organization Azad’s leader Shabir Baloch is also one of the abductees.

Other than this, people from Awaran, Kolwah, Quetta, Dalbandin, Mand, Tump, Dasht, Naseerabad were also img_20161105_153249abducted in the month of October.

On 5th of October, forces abducted Latif s/o Maqsood; a shepherd; along with 5 other people during an operation in Kolwah. His mutilated body was found from Absar, Turbat after some days of his abduction.

In the month of October 17 mutilated bodies of missing person were found while 51 people were killed in different incident carried out by security forces in Balochistan.

A mutilated body of a woman who was abducted by security forces from Dera Bugti during an operation was also found. Other than these, 3 mutilated bodies of missing persons were also found from Qalat. On 26 October, 3 bullet riddled bodies were found including two brothers from Dera Bugti. They were arrested a few days earlier. 14 people were killed in personal enmity while 20 people were killed by forces in different military operations.

Political activists Hasil and Khumar Baloch residents of Mashkay and Jhao respectively were among those who were killed by forces. Hasil was shot dead during the operation in Kolwah on 5th October.

In the same month 24 people were also released from the custody of forces, most of them had been missing for last 2 years. Haider KB who was abducted on 27th November, 2013, Khadim s/o Abdul Qadir who was abducted a year before from Gramkan, Panjgur and Qamber Baloch who was abducted before 3 years from Washbod, Panjgur are among the released persons.

Other than these, the tragic incident of Quetta Training Centre also took place in the same month resulting into 62 deaths.

BibiGul Baloch said that it is very painful and not less than a tragedy that government, media and political parties are all dead silent on the loss of precious lives of Baloch people in Balochistan. Several appeals from human rights organizations and orders from Supreme Court have also been ignored in Balochistan. Instead of solving decade long missing person’s issue, it is getting more complicated day by day. The police administrators used to register missing person’s FIR before but now the situation has become so worse that both police and levies deny registering cases of missing person.

The problems of people of Balochistan have increased due to military operations, raids; check posts; mutilated bodies and abduction of people. But other than these everyday problems have also made the lives of people very miserable. The people of rural areas of Balochistan don’t even dare to think about getting basic facilities like clean water, health and jobs. Even in the 21st century women of Balochistan in many districts travel miles to fetch water.

For the treatment of common diseases the nearest hospitals are in Karachi the capital city of Sindh which is at least a 7-12 hour journey from distant areas of Balochistan.

The same condition is with education, due to lack of government’s attention; poverty and unemployment; thousands of students are out of schools. In the districts; Kech, Panjgur and Awaran, more than a dozen of primary, middle and high schools are under the occupation of forces.

The trend of religious extremism is also prevailing in Balochistan. There is the general impression that in order to counter the insurgency, forces are providing training and arms to the religious extremists. The picture of Balochistan which comes in mind after analyzing the entire situation is very miserable.

BibiGul appealed to the authorities of related institutions to bind the administrators to file FIRs and stop dumping mutilated bodies of missing persons of Balochistan.