‘BSO-A to approach UN if its chief not freed’

Banuk Kareema Baloch

KARACHI: The Baloch Students Organisation (Azad) has warned the authorities to immediately release its chairman Zahid Baloch or it will seek help of the United Nations and other international human rights bodies to get him recovered.

BSO-A acting chairperson Karima Baloch said at a press conference at the press club here on Sunday that over a month and a half had passed since their leader was picked up reportedly by security forces. They had neither released him nor admitted to having him in custody, she said.

She alleged that Zahid was kidnapped by the Frontier Corps (FC) and personnel of secret agencies who were subjecting him to torture in detention.

The BSO chief should be treated as a political prisoner and the government should provide him facilities according to the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners, she said.

She urged civil society and human rights organisations and the media to highlight the issue and join hands with the BSO-A to persuade the government to release its chief.

She said if Zahid had committed any crime the agencies concerned which held him incommunicado should first admit his detention and then produce him in court.

She said a BSO-A leader, Lateef Johar, who had been on hunger strike for over 34 days now outside the press club in protest against his leader’s disappearance had become too enfeebled and could die any time but no one was taking notice of it.

Most of the national media outlets had ignored the unprecedented hunger strike and demonstrations by the Baloch students while officials of police and other agencies were frequently visiting the BSO-A camp and threatening the protesters of dire consequences to force them to leave, she said.

She said the BSO-A was a peaceful and democratic organisation which raised its voice against violation of fundamental human rights of the Baloch and demanded quality education for the Baloch children.

Lateef Johar, the hunger striker, was also present at the press conference.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2014

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