Toronto, April 24, 2014: A joint delegation of oppressed nations of Iran met Canadian lawmaker, Honourable Bob Dechert for a briefing on gross human rights violations committed by the theocratic regime against people of Al-Ahwaz, Turkmenistan, South Azerbaijan and Balochistan.
Representatives of Ahwazi Democratic Popular Front, South Azerbaijan Independence Party, Turkoman freedom movement and Baloch Human Rights Council (Canada) were present at the meeting.
Delegates informed Honourable Bob Dechert about the discriminatory and inhuman policies of the Iranian regime toward the oppressed nationalities that includes in-prison trials and summary executions, socio-economic deprivation, cultural repression and plundering of their natural resources.
BHRC-Canada informed Honourable Bob Dechert about the recent illegal abduction of Zahid Baloch, Chairman BSO (Azad) by the Pakistani security forces (ISI, Frontier Corps) and that his life is in extreme danger. BHRC representative urged Mr. Dechert that Canadian government must act urgently to save life of Zahid Baloch by asserting diplomatic pressure on Pakistani authorities. Honourable Bob Dechert was also presented with a letter of appeal and a brief profile of Zahid Baloch on this occasion.
April 24, 2014
Honourable Bob Dechert
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Dear Bob Dechert,
We are deeply concerned about the fate of Mr. Zahid Baloch (a.k.a. Baloch Khan), 31, who was forcefully disappeared by the Pakistani security forces (ISI, Frontier Corps) on March 18, 2014 from, Quetta, Balochistan. Mr. Baloch is being illegally detained at an unknown location, facing extreme torture and threat to life.
Mr. Zahid Baloch is the Chairman of Baloch Students Organization (Azad), a student body striving for freedoms and rights of Baloch nation and end to the illegal occupation by Pakistan Army in 1948.
Friends and family members of Mr. Baloch fear for his life as they have no access to his whereabouts to date. The civilian authorities, judiciary, and the legislative assemblies are completely helpless in Balochistan where Pakistan Army is currently engaged in a brutal military operation to quell the voices of dissent and justice. More than 18,000 youth activists have been forcefully disappeared by the security forces and at least 800 of them were killed in custody after inhuman torture as part of the ‘kill and dump’ policy.
Canada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honourable John Baird has been informed about the gravity of the human rights violations in Balochistan against civilians and political activists by the Pakistan military authorities and their sponsored proxy death squads.
We strongly appeal to the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assert diplomatic pressure on Pakistan Embassy in Ottawa and the government in Islamabad to immediately release Mr. Zahid Baloch and save his life.
Zaffar Baloch, President, BHRC – Canada.