Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Protest in Toronto to save Zahid Baloch chairman BSO Azad and Solidarity with Latif Joher and Balochistan

Press Release
Toronto, May 18, 2014 – A large number of progressive students, Baloch and Sindhi activists gathered at Nathan Philips Square to protest the enforced disappearance of Zahid Baloch, Chairman of Baloch Students Organization-Azad (BSO-Azad), on March 18th, 2014 by the Pakistani Frontier Corps from Quetta, Balochistan. This is yet another case of enforced disappearances of the Baloch people, who are resisting domination and exploitation of their resources by the Pakistani military and intelligence establishments.  Protesters stood in the rain carrying banners and placards condemning the Pakistani military establishment for the atrocities against the civilian population of Balochistan. They chanted slogans – Stop Military Aid to Pakistan – Shame on the Pakistani State and its Army – Immediate Recovery of Zahid Baloch – Recovery of 18,000 Disappeared Baloch Youth. Speeches were delivered at the protest rally by Tayyaba, Urooj, Ayaz and Zaffar Baloch, President BHRC – Canada. A message of Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur a Baloch intellectual and Human Rights activists was read by Urooj at the rally. The speakers informed the public at the gathering about the gross human rights violations in Balochistan by the Pakistani armed forces. They stated that Baloch people were being denied their basic right to life along with political, economic and social rights. The speakers demanded immediate recovery of Zahid Baloch and all the enforced disappeared persons illegally abducted by the Pakistani security forces. The Voice of Baloch Missing Persons, an advocacy organization run by the families of ‘missing persons’, has compiled a list of 19,000 Baloch missing persons, which include women and minors. Latif Johar, member of BSO-Azad, has begun a hunger strike unto death for the safe recovery of his Chairman, Zahid Baloch. As of now, Latif has NOT EATEN since 22 April 2014 and his condition is extremely frail. Latif has asked student groups around the world to support his call for the release of Zahid Baloch and other Baloch missing persons. Enough support for his cause will also help in convincing Latif to end his hunger strike and prevent more lives from succumbing to this cruel tragedy.
***** We are calling this protest to demand: *****
 1. The immediate release of Zahid Baloch and all other Baloch missing persons.
2. The immediate cessation of military operations, covert arrests, abductions, and raids in Balochistan by the Pakistani state.
3. The immediate cessation of financial and political support to the Pakistani military by the Canadian government.

Zaffar Baloch.

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