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PAKISTAN: A lawyer working for missing persons and a student were abducted and there are reports about military operations in two districts of Balochistan

PAKISTAN: A lawyer working for missing persons and a student were abducted and there are reports about military operations in two districts of Balochistan

ISSUES: Disappearance, arbitrary arrest, military operations, no rule of law, impunity

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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a lawyer who was contesting cases of missing persons in the Balochistan High Court and a Baloch child were abducted by security forces and people in pain clothed. There are reports from different websites that the persons in military uniforms and plain clothes conducted an operation in Dera Bugti and Naseerabad districts of Balochistan, killing 11 persons and destroying several houses.

Abductions and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan have increased suddenly since the Supreme Court has accelerated the hearing of the cases concerning missing persons. The military continues to refuse to respect the court despite several notices. The excuse of the military is that presenting themselves before court will affect the morale of the soldiers.

CASE NARRATIVE:

A prominent lawyer of Balochistan, Mr. Nadir, Advocate (30) son of Abdul Nabi was arrested by personnel from the Frontier Corps (FC) along with plain clothed persons from his house in the presence of his wife and rest of the family members on December 4, 2013 at midnight. He was a resident of Bolan Medical College Labor Colony Quetta. After identifying him the FC officers dragged him from the house and threw him in an FC jeep. Since then his whereabouts are unknown.

The legal community of Balochistan has boycotted the court proceedings in protest throughout the province. It is apprehended by the community that Mr. Nadir will be tortured or extrajudicially killed to eliminate the evidence of his enforced disappearance. Advocate Nadir was appearing before the court in missing person’s cases and was very close to the missing person’s relatives. He appeared before court on behalf of his clients pro bono.

Disappearance of a student

A young student, Master Mehrab Baloch (17), was abducted by the security forces and plain clothed persons from the Satellite Town area of Quetta on December 3 at the student’s hostel. According to the information received 33 vehicles of the Pakistan security forces cordoned off the entire Baloch hostel at midnight and searched all the rooms forcing out the students. After identifying Mehrab he was arrested and taken away to an unknown location. He is a resident of Kalatuk Village Kech district and came for higher studies to the Balochistan University. The Frontier Cops was suspicious about him as he came from the Kech area where the military conducted several operations searching for Baloch national leaders who were fighting for the independence of Balochistan from Pakistan.

After his abduction his whereabouts remain unknown.

Operation in two districts

Different websites of Baloch nationalists have reported that Pakistani forces have started a massive military offensive in many areas of Dera Bugti and Naseerabad in the early morning of December 5. Dozens of armored vehicles carrying military troops laid siege to several villages of Dera Bugti and Naseerabad including Beti and RD 238. The military started intense firing on the civilian populace and heavily bombarded the villages.

Baloch Republican Party Media Cell sources from the area, while confirming the operation, say dozens of houses of the poor Baloch villagers were destroyed by the bombardment and many houses were set on fire by Pakistani forces. At least eleven members of one family were killed. The victims were identified as Riazat Bugti s/o Bagul Baloch, activist of Baloch Republican Party; Kosagh Bugti s/o Warna Khan, who belongs to Baloch Republican Student organization; Masso Bugti s/o Bakho Khan and two sons and a grandson of Mr. Ali Dost Baloch were also among the deceased.

Furthermore, ten people were abducted by the forces. It is worth mentioning that three members of the targeted family had been abducted previously, killed and then dumped. Among them were Nakeef Bugti and Gullan Bugti. They were abducted by the military and then thrown out of a helicopter in Noshki in 2008.

The websites quoting local sources claim that gunship helicopters are also taking part in the deadly operation and are indiscriminately bombarding the civilian populace of the area. Army helicopters have bombarded the small village of Beti since morning. Latest reports coming from area suggest that the army has handed over at least five more dead bodies of abducted people to the RD 238 police station. Death casualties may increase as the operation continues and the entire area of RD 238 is continuously under tight siege.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write to the following authorities calling for the safe recovery of Mr. Nadir Advocate and a young student, Master Mehrab Baloch, who were abducted by the persons in uniform from their places of residents. Please also urge them to stop the disappearances after arrest by the security forces and respect the freedom and right to dissent of the Balochi people, stop the military action from Dera Bugti and Naseerabad districts, release all arrested persons and pay compensation to the bereaved families. The FC and other members of law enforcement agencies must be prosecuted for disappearing, torturing and extrajudicially killing Balochi people.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the Chairperson of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances calling for his intervention into this matter.

Please visit link to send appeal and for further information.

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