HRCP rally against ‘enforced disappearance’


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HYDERABAD: A rally was taken out here on Wednesday to condemn ‘enforced disappearance’ of political, nationalist and other activists in Sindh and for the recovery of a social worker and writer, Wahid Baloch, who is missing after allegedly being picked up by security agencies personnel near Karachi on July 26.

The rally was organised by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) special task force. The participants, who included children of Mr Baloch and activists of several other civil society organisations, marched through the streets of the city after emerging from a locality housing the Radio Pakistan building and converged on the local press club, where they held a demonstration.

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HRCP vice chairperson Asad Iqbal Butt, its task force coordinator Dr Ashothama Lohana, Communist Party of Pakistan secretary general Comrade Imdad Qazi, Awami Workers Party leader Bakhshal Thalho, hari leader Taj Marri, Women Action Forum activists Amar Sindhu and Arfana Mallah, Haseen Musarrat and Prof Imdad Chandio were among those who spoke to the participants.

They expressed concern over unchecked incidents of alleged enforced disappearance in the province and condemned detention of Mr Baloch since July 26 without declaring his arrest or charges against him. They noted that Mr Baloch was picked up by some men, believed to be members of some security agency, who boarded the coach he was travelling in and took him away after verifying his identity. They also noted that the coach was on its way to Karachi from Mirpurkhas

Carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans against ‘enforced disappearance’ and ‘recovery’ of Wahid Baloch, the protesters raised slogans against such practices and urged the authorities concerned to make his whereabouts known to his family.

They also demanded recovery of all political, nationalist and other activists, including Raja Mangi, Sohail Bhatti, Allah Wadhayo and Imran Jokhio, who were still missing after being taken away in a similar style.

The speakers called for a halt to ‘enforced disappearances’ after declaring the practice a crime.

They said anyone picked up in connection with an offence, he must be produced in a court of law within the period of time prescribed by the relevant law. Enforced disappearance was a major cause of concern among citizens, they said.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2016

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