Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BALOCHISTAN: The Long March against disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan commences

Civil society must join the peaceful long march in solidarity with the relatives of disappeared persons and provide all possible assistance to the marchers. The relatives of missing persons from Balochistan started a 730 kilometre peaceful long march for the recovery of disappeared persons. The participants assembled and started their march from the Quetta Press Club yesterday. The rally includes women and children and will reach Karachi, the capital of Sindh province after one week. The long march is lead by a seven-year-old son of Jalil Reki, who was extrajudicially killed after a year of his disappearance in an ISI torture cell. Mr. Nasrullah Baloch, the chairperson of Voice for Missing Baloch Persons (VMBP) whose uncle has been missing for 11 year years, Mr. Mama Qadeer Baloch, whose cousin has been missing since 2001 and whose son who was killed during his detention by the military, and Ms. Farzana Majeed, the sister of Mr. Zakir Majeed Baloch, who has been missing since 2009 after his arrest by the Frontier Corp (FC) are also taking part in the march. Participants of the 'long march' began their journey at the local press club and it will culminate in a sit-in outside the Karachi Press Club where they will have an indefinite hunger strike. The participants are raising slogans against Pakistan and demanding the freedom of Balochistan from Pakistan. Balochistan has been facing the worst kind of state sponsored terrorism since 2001 when the military started arresting the activists and political workers and killing them extrajudicially after detaining them for long periods in military torture cells. The nationalist groups in Balochistan claim that up to the present day 18,000 persons are missing or have been extrajudicially killed whereas independent sources claim that more than 6,000 persons are missing after their arrest. It is also reported that since June 2010 730 missing persons were extrajudicially killed after their arrest and disappearance. The government of Balochistan has itself confirmed the extrajudicial killings of 530 persons during the same period. The official list also confirms that 2,500 persons are missing after their arrest.

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