International Day of Disappeared: IVBMP and BSO-Azad protest in Europe and Australia
Date 2012-08-31 | Topic: London
|Baloch Diaspora in Europe held simultaneous protest demonstrations against continuous disappearances and extra judicial killings of Baloch activists by Pakistani and Iranian security forces in Balochistan. The International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons and Baloch Student Organisation Azad had given the call for worldwide protest on 30 August ‘the International Day of Disappeared’. Protests were held in Ireland, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Germany and Canada. |
In Ireland the BSO-Azad activists protested outside Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin) in Dublin against non-recovery of Zakir Majeed Baloch, who was abducted on 8 June 2009 near Mastung town in Balochistan, and thousands of other Baloch missing persons currently being illegal held by Pakistan’s military and security agencies. The BSO-A activists were holding the posters of Baloch Missing persons and those killed under Pakistani military custody. Activists also distributed the leaflets containing information about Balochistan’s history, Disappearances, under custody killings, Internally Displaced peoples (IDP’s) and other crimes of Pakistani state including brutality against Baloch women in Occupied Balochistan.
In London a protest was organised by International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons and Baloch Student Organisation – Azad opposite the official residence of British Prime Minister. Despite being it a week day and relatively cold, a large number of Baloch, Sindhi and other human rights activists participated in the protest demonstration. The protesters displayed large banners inscribed with slogans against human rights violation in Balochistan, pictures of enforced disappeared persons and victims of Pakistan state’s kill and dump policy. They also chanted slogans against Pakistan and for the release of abducted Baloch activists.
The activists of BSO-Azad distribute leaflets to spectator and passers-by. Several people stopped by to inquire about the human rights violations in Balochistan and expressed their solidarity with the Baloch people. The protesters urged the International Community and the British government to stop supporting Pakistan as it was committing crimes against humanity in Balochistan. They said Pakistan was violating the international Human rights laws and hence breaching her international obligation as a member state of the United Nation.
Many activists and leaders addressed the crowd, the speakers included Nobat Marri the information secretary of BSO-Azad London zone, Abdullah Baloch a leader of Balochistan National Movement (Balochistane Raaji Zrombesh), Samad Baluch the secretary general of BHRC, Rahim Bandoi from Balochistan Peoples Party, Mehrab Sarjou, Mansoor Baloch president of BRP (UK), Zahid Baloch of Baloch National Movement (BNM), Tariq Afzal a friend of Baloch from Kashmiri Community, Dr Lakhu Lunhana from World Sindhi Congress, Marzook Ali Hazara an elder of Hazara Community in London, Kambar Baloch from BSYA (Baloch Student and Youth Organisation and Sohaib Mengal International representative of BSO-Azad. Asghar Shahwani Baloch and Banuk Mahnaz Baloch read messages from mothers of Shaheed Mehrab Umer Baloch and abducted Zakir Majeed Baloch respectively.
The speakers said that Pakistan and Iran were inflicting brutalities on Baloch for demanding their just rights including their natural right, freedom. They said the right to liberation has been accepted by the UN charter and the civilized world but Iran and Pakistan have deprived the Baloch people of their right to live freely and at their own will. They said the Baloch were adamant to continue their struggle for freedom and the state brutalities cannot deter them.
The speakers urged the Prime Minister of UK and all human rights Organisations including the United Nations to take urgent notice of abduction of Zakir Majeed Baloch and thousands of other Baloch men, women and children. They said the silence of UN and other democratic countries on the genocide of Baloch people was daunting and a question mark on their partiality.
The speaker appealed to the UN delegation, due to visit Pakistan, to visit Balochistan if they wanted to know about the ground realities in Balochistan. They said it would be a waste of time if the UN team only meets the government officials and ignores the victims of state atrocities.
The Baloch speakers urged the UN to hear the plight of miserable Baloch who are left at the verge of extinction by none other than a member state of UN, Pakistan, the so called ‘land of pure’. They said Pakistan is committing crime with impunity despite being obligatory to certain Human Rights instruments was violating all those laws by extra judicially abducting the Baloch activists, subjecting them to brutal torture, keeping them in military dungeons for year without any trails and killing them in custody.
Nobat Marri, who’s older brother Faiz Mohammad Marri was abducted and later killed in custody by Pakistani security forces in March 2011, said that disappearance in Balochistan have been a routine of Pakistani force since the illegal occupation of Balochistan in 1948. He further said “the tactics of disappearances and killing which Pakistan adopted in Balochistan are no different than the dirty war waged by military junta in Argentina in 1976 – 1983. In ‘dirty war’ in Argentine the military abducted, tortured, and killed anyone they claimed were ‘subversive’, including all political opponents of the military regime. Similarly in Balochistan the victims of Pakistan’s ‘Dirty War’ are mainly young people, educated and politically conscious section of Baloch society.”
BSO-Azad International representative, Sohaib Mengal, urged the Western powers to stop supporting Pakistan as it was a threat to their own security. He said “If you leave a state like Pakistan nurture and strengthen herself, than many 9/11s and 7 /7s will happen again. Baloch nation is the only hope for the civilized world in that region but if the world doesn't act on time than the secular Baloch will also be converted into extremists because Pakistan is investing huge amounts of sums in madrassas. The world should act because their security is at stake.”
Dr Lakhu Luhana a leader of World Sindhi Congress said that Pakistan was responsible for killings of millions of Bengalis and disappearing the highest number of people in Balochistan and Sindh. He said Pakistan must have been tried in International Court of law long before it started committing crimes in Sindh and Balochistan. He said killings and abduction will not deter the people of Sindh and Balochistan from struggle for Independence. “It is certain that Sindh and Balochistan will be independent sooner or later – whether in our life time or after us but the freedom is inevitable”, said the Sindhi leader.
Meanwhile simultaneous demonstrations were held in Perth and Sydney cities of Australia, Gothenburg city of Sweden and Oslo in Norway where activists of Baloch Student Organisation –Azad and International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons have distributes leaflets, and displayed pictures of victims of state barbarism and dump and kill policy.
In Oslo a dozen Baloch demonstrated outside Parliament. Waheed Baloch, President of Baloch Student Organization (BSO -Azad) told a Norwegian newspaper that “We want to highlight what intelligence services in Pakistan are doing with our people.” The Baloch protesters also urged that the Norwegian authorities should pressurize Pakistan to release Ehsan Arjemandi Baloch. According to a Norwegian daily, there are around 400 Baloch in Norway.
Anwar Baloch and Hafeez Baloch told the Norwegian media that thousands of Baloch have 'disappeared' Balochistan. “People disappear without anyone taking responsibility. Intelligence blames rogue gangs and criminals. But most often it is the military intelligence behind these abductions”, they say.
The Baloch activists in Sweden and Australia have appealed the Human Rights Organisations to intervene in Balochistan to stop the genocide of Baloch people. They requested the UN delegation, due to visit Pakistan, to meet with families of Baloch victims of enforced-disappearances and those extra-judicially killed by Pakistani forces.