Report of August, 2016

stop-ed-image-300x284This report of August, 2016 is continuation of the monthly reports published by Baloch Human Rights Organization on the situation of human rights in Balochistan. As 30th August is held as International Day of The Victims of Enforced Disappearances throughout the world, BHRO is publishing detailed report of human rights violations in Balochistan for last 8 months.

Human rights’ situation in Balochistan is worsening day by day and it is not a secret that how people are being abducted and have gone missing and how their dead bodies are dumped. Under the law of National Action Plan (NAP), extension in forces’ authorities and due to restrictions on media such news cannot make place in national media but silence of media doesn’t mean that abduction of people, appearing of mutilated bodies and arresting people without any cases have stopped or decreased. Obviously this is a matter of serious concern for BHRO and other human rights institutions

According to government statistics, more than 13,500 people are arrested and have gone missing from the end of last year until now. Government’s representative is trying to show other side of the mirror to the world by declaring missing persons as “Arrested People” but in reality all people are in the custody of forces and they are not letting them to communicate with their families.

According to state law of Pakistan it is the right of prisoners to meet their family and appoint a lawyer regarding their cases, but the situation is otherwise in Balochistan. The state institutions and government’s representatives are violating this law and detaining people for months and for years without letting their families know their whereabouts. Dozens of arrested people were later killed and their mutilated dead bodies were thrown and in media they were falsely claimed to be killed in encounters. Indiscriminate use of force and silence of civil government had made the situation of human rights in Balochistan more complicated. According to the Government accounts the abduction of 13500 and killing of 336 people in a short period of single year well determines the complicated situation in Balochistan, whereby the original numbers could be more than these.

In the month of August dozens of people were killed, among them 14 were already missing whom mutilated dead bodies were found from different places. During this month more than 200 people were also abducted who are still missing. Forces are claiming them as terrorists to avoid being responsible of the situation but it is responsibility of the state to treat the arrested people as per state law and present them in front of a court of law and file their cases.

30 August is held as the International Day of The Victims of Enforces Disappearances throughout the world. Awareness campaigns about enforced disappearances are being organized in the different countries of the world. And constitutions are presented against the brutal and illaudable act of forcefully disappearing human beings which is appreciable. Voice of Baloch Missing Persons and especially BHRO have been condemning any act of human rights violation occurring anywhere in the world. They have also appealed to the responsible authorities to take notice.

Most of the war ridden regions of the world are facing the problem of enforced disappearances. But the matter of concern in Balochistan is that common people are facing the problem of enforced disappearances not from a special group but from the machinery of the State. The problem of enforced disappearances in Balochistan is one of the biggest human rights violation issue but the media instead of playing its role in raising the issue on high levels has tried to hide it. Neither media nor civil society organization are raising their voice against this issue.

The chain of appearing of mutilated dead bodies of Baloch Missing Persons who were in the custody of forces for months and for years, started in 2009 and is still continued with all its intensity.  The missing persons of Balochistan are more than any other part of Pakistan. Zakir Majeed, Doctor Deen Mohammad, Zahid Baloch, Ghafoor Baloch, Sami Mengal and other hundreds of students are among the victims of enforced disappearances along with thousands of people from different walks of life. According to local organizations more than 20000 people were forcefully abducted. The numbers of enforced disappeared people could be more than this. According to statistics of different organizations more than 2000 mutilated dead bodies of missing political activists and common people were found. According to government representative, under National Action Plan (NAP) more than 13,500 people were arrested and 336 people were killed. Government representative shares the numbers of arrested people in media but on the other side didn’t share any information regarding their safety and protection with media and with their families.

According to Baloch Human Rights Organization’s statistics, this year in the month of January 132 people were abducted and more than 30 people were extra judicially killed, in February 312 people were abducted and went missing and above 40 people were killed. In the month of March 31 people were killed whereas 200 were abducted. In the same way in the month of April 89 people were killed and 130 people were forcefully disappeared by forces. In May 32 persons were killed and 114 abducted, in June 49 persons were killed and 110 were abducted whereas in July 129 people were abducted and 15 were killed. Overall in last 7 months 256 people were extra judicially killed according to BHRO statistics. There were dozens of missing persons among the killed ones whom dead bodies were handed over to the authorities by forces after killing them. Due to lack of communication system in far fledged area and lack of accurate information on time, BHRO didn’t include hundreds of incidents of extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances in these statistics.

As Balochistan is a war zone, the policies of counter insurgency are also affecting daily lives of common peoples. Forces are also violating human rights of people by burning down their houses and in many areas forcing them to migrate from their houses and lands. Thousands of families were forced to migrate from different areas of Mashkay, Jhao, Makran, Jhalawan, Sarawan and Dera Bugti. In the area of Jhao forces went house to house and threatened people to leave their houses. In the areas of Makran and Dasht, a nearby area of the city of Gwadar forces continued this same tactics due to which people get exasperated and left all their sources of earning and other activities and were forced to migrate. People in Balochistan are in tremendous fear and afraid due to the silence of media and increasing intensity in repression in Balochistan. Teachers and students are also worried from the policy of using schools and colleges as camps for forces. In short in Balochistan people from all walks of life were forced to spend their lives in a sense of fear, uncertainty and insecurity. Leaving thousands of people of Balochistan in this situation, media and human rights organizations are becoming equally partner in this crime. Voice for Baloch Missing Persons is sitting on hunger strike for years, demonstrations in front of Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad press clubs and long march from Quetta to Islamabad couldn’t awake the sense of responsibility of international human rights organizations and civil society.

Balochistan is war ridden region and in war zones responsibility of media increases than the other areas but it is sad to say that in Balochistan, representatives of Pakistani media are hiding such a serious issue of missing persons and instead of making forces answerable for their brutal acts they are projecting the statements and taking the stance of forces. Intellectuals and professional journalists are also oblivious from their responsibility in a fear to be considered as traitors and be declared as anti-state. It is obvious that forces in the defense of their military operations can make any excuse but it is journalistic responsibility that instead of promoting excuses they should search for the reality and bring it in front of the media.

This issue needs to be addressed seriously as missing persons’ issue is not an issue of specific area or tribe but this is a humanitarian issue and need to solve beyond political and ethnic attachments and especially journalists need to come forward and take practical steps to solve this problem. Baloch Human Rights Organization urges to government that if state institutions remain involved in violation of human rights than the results will be devastating. If media and institution of Justice didn’t play their role and remain silent on this series of violations than they will be partner in crime.

In the last we appeal to the government that instead of threatening the families of these missing persons the government should instruct the authorities to file their FIRs. BHRO wants to convey this message to families of missing persons through media that without any fear and hesitation instead of remaining silent on the abduction of their loved ones they should file/ register FIR.

Baloch Human Rights Organization