ISSUES: Disappearance; extrajudicial killing; arbitrary arrest; women’s rights; rule of law
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a woman, Ms. Hanifa Bibi, was arrested by the police and men in plain clothes during a raid at her house for the search of her husband, Mr. Awal Khan Bugti, on January 18; since then her whereabouts are unknown. A government officer was also kidnapped by plain clothed men while he was returning home from his office in Kalat city of Balochistan. In another incident four students were arrested by personnel of the Frontier Corp (FC) when they were taking lunch at a friend’s house. Since then the whereabouts of the arrested persons are unknown.
Mr. Awal Khan Bugti, resident of Quetta city, capital of Balochistan, was an activist of the Republican Party and wanted by the police in some cases. On 18 January 2011 after midnight police accompanied by a number of plain clothed persons raided his house to arrest him. When they could not find Mr. Bugti during the raid, the police took his wife, Ms. Hanifa, into custody in order to force Bugti to surrender himself. Since then her whereabouts are unknown. Her family members have contacted the Quetta police many times but they have refused to reveal her whereabouts saying only that if Bugti surrenders to the police she would be released.
It is to be mentioned here that according to the lists of disappeared persons compiled by provincial government of Balochistan and National Crisis Management, around 168 children and 148 women have been missing since 2002 but still their whereabouts are unknown.
In another incident, on 21 January, four young men were abducted by plain clothed persons from Pajgur city of Balochistan while they were having lunch at a friend’s house. According to reports received the young men, Wali Baloch, Abid Rasool Bux Baloch and Mehrab promi were having food at Nasir Dararzi’s home when more than a dozen armed persons arrived and dragged them at gunpoint towards the vehicles standing outside the house. Nasir Dagarzai, who was hosting the lunch, was seriously injured and is in critical condition with bullet wounds and marks of and torture on his body. The vehicles that were used during the abduction of these four persons did not bear any motor vehicle registration numbers. This is usually the case with the vehicles used by the state intelligence agencies in the Balochistan province.
On 27 January, the bullet riddled body of Abid Rasool Bux found from the Gwargo area of Panjgor.
In another case, a government officer, Mr. Abdul Rauf Qambrani, the Sub-divisional Officer at the Public Health Department, government of Balochistan, was abducted by the plain clothed persons. The abductors came to the scene by riding in the two jeeps without having any motor vehicle registration numbers. The faces of the plain clothed persons were covered with scarves. These persons introduced themselves as members of ‘secret agencies’. At the time of abduction Mr. Qambrani was returning home at 5pm on January 24 along with his grandmother, who was left alone at the road, near Wadh city, when Qambrani was dragged away. The family members tried to file a First Information Report (FIR) with the Kalat police refused to register the complaint on an excuse that they (Kalat police) had not arrested him. Mr. Qambrani was previously arrested in 2007 during General Musharraf’s regime in a case of possessing arms. Later, in 2008, he was acquitted by the court as the case was found to be fake.
Please write the letters to the authorities showing your deep concern about the arrest and disappearance of a woman who was made hostage by the law enforcement agencies for the barter of her husband as he was wanted by the state agencies. Please urge them to release the sub divisional health officer and the other young persons who they were having lunch at their friend’s house on the suspicion of having a secret meeting. Please also urge the officials of the law enforcement agencies to take responsibility for the disappearance of these persons. The officers concerned must be prosecuted.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to UN Special Rapporteurs on the Question of Torture and Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances calling for their intervention into this case.