PAKISTAN: Sagheer Ahmed Baloch, a disappeared person must be returned to his family without delay


International Human Rights Council
Urgent Action Case -001-2018
Date: 11 May 2018

Dear Friends,

The International Human Rights Council (IHRC-HK) has received information regarding the disappearance of a young student, Sagheer Ahmed Baloch, who was allegedly picked up by the intelligence agencies five months ago and remains disappeared to this day. Sagheer was picked up from Karachi University in broad daylight by plain clothed persons and no one was able to assist him.


Case details:

21-year-old Sagheer Ahmed Baloch was picked up by men in plainclothes from a canteen of the Karachi University on November 20, 2017. Sagheer was a second-year student of political science at the university. His family maintains that he had no political or militant affiliation and that he was a law-abiding citizen of the country with no previous history of crime.

According to the information we have received, Sagheer went to the university on November 20, 2017 to take an exam. After taking the exam he was having tea near the Visual Studies Department. At around 5pm some persons arrived in a White Corolla and two motorbikes. Two of them approached and took Sagheer Baloch away. A scuffle ensued between the students and the officials who took Sagheer as well as his two of his friends. As per the witnesses an official returned to pick Sagheer’s back pack. The fellow students of Sagheer state that he was not involved in any practice that could merit such treatment.

The sister of the victim, Hameeda Qadir, along with other concerned student of the Political Science Department protested against the apathy of the university’s administration. The students held a silent protest outside the administration block to register their protest.

The students demanded that the university fulfill its duty to provide security to its students and to be answerable in case anything happens to them on campus. Sagheer’s family had left no stone unturned to secure the safe recovery of their son and have knocked at virtually every door and approached every avenue humanly possible to get some news of him. Unfortunately, however, no amount of raising slogans on the road, silent token-hunger strikes, rallies or campaigns, FIRs, Petitions or court cases have yielded any result.

Even those protesting against the disappearance of their fellow Baloch were not spared the treatment. Less than two months later on January 4 2018, Mumtaz, another Baloch student of Karachi University, along with his younger brother Kamran, was taken from their residence in Maddu Goth, located just off University Road in Karachi. Mumtaz, a student of KU’s International Relations Program, and Kamran, an intermediate graduate, belong to a middle-class family from Baluchistan’s Khuzdar district. As is the general practice of law enforcement agency officials, the victims were picked up by two men who arrived in vehicles without number plates.

Heartbroken and saddened by the mistreatment, the Baloch youth wonder whether their only crime is to be a Baloch and educated in Pakistan.
To add insult to injury the silence of the media and a virtual media blackout on any news pertaining to the disappeared has made matters worse for the families of the missing who are left with no choice but to remain silent themselves.

Even the Supreme Court of the country- the bastion and guardian of the fundamental human rights of the citizens has become a silent spectator to the crime so much so that it appears to have handed out a legal cover to the perpetrator by its inaction.

Additional Information

Recently the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances-the state’s official avenue of redress, informed the Supreme Court that it has disposed of as many as 3,076 applications of disappearance till December 2017 whereas a total of 1,532 applications are pending before the Commission. Submitting a report before a three-member bench led by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Registrar of the Commission, Khalid Naeem, said the Commission had written a letter to the government to formulate a policy in order to award compensation to families of missing persons but that it received no response.

Suggested Action

Please write letters to the following authorities calling them to safely recover Syed Sagheer Ahmed Baloch. If any charges are to be laid against him for any crime he should be tried in open court. The government of Pakistan must stop the practice of enforced disappearances.

Please also urge the authorities to being the perpetrators to book and to promulgate a comprehensive and cohesive law and policy to curb the incidents of disappearances in the country.

Sample Letters

Name of victim: Mr. Sagheer Ahmed, son of Ghulam Qadir Mirwani, BA Honors student, University of Karachi, resident of Lyari, Karachi, Sindh

Names of alleged perpetrators:
1. Intelligence Agencies of Pakistan Military
2. Sindh Rangers,
3. Dr. Mohammad Ajmal, Vice Chancellor of the University of Karachi

PAKISTAN: Sagheer Ahmed Baloch, a disappeared person must be returned to his family without delay

I have been informed that 21-year-old Sagheer Ahmed Baloch was picked up by men in plainclothes from a canteen of the Karachi University on November 20, 2017. Sagheer was a second-year student of political science at the university. His family maintains that he had no political or militant affiliation and that he was a law-abiding citizen of the country with no previous history of crime.

According to the information I have received, Sagheer went to the university on November 20, 2017 to take an exam. After taking the exam he was having tea near the Visual Studies Department. At around 5pm some persons arrived in a White Corolla and two motorbikes. Two of them approached and took Sagheer Baloch away. A scuffle ensued between the students and the officials who took Sagheer as well as his two of his friends. As per the witnesses an official returned to pick Sagheer’s back pack. The fellow students of Sagheer state that he was not involved in any practice that could merit such treatment.

I am informed that the victim’s sister, Hameeda Qadir, along with other concerned student of the Political Science Department protested against the apathy of the university’s administration. The students held a silent protest outside the administration block to register their protest. To-date, no action has been taken by the university.

It is appalling that even those protesting against the disappearance of their fellow Baloch were not spared the treatment. Less than two months later on January 4 2018, Mumtaz, another Baloch student of Karachi University, along with his younger brother Kamran, was taken from their residence in Maddu Goth, located just off University Road in Karachi. Mumtaz, a student of KU’s International Relations Program, and Kamran, an intermediate graduate, belong to a middle-class family from Baluchistan’s Khuzdar district. As is the general practice of law enforcement agency officials, the victims were picked up by two men who arrived in vehicles without number plates.

I am saddened that even the Supreme Court of the country – the bastion and guardian of the fundamental human rights of the citizens has become a silent spectator to the crime so much so that it appears to have handed out a legal cover to the perpetrator by its inaction.

Therefore, I urge you to take immediate action in these cases of the disappearance of university students that have had no connection with any criminal activity. They must be released to their families immediately and if the authorities are able to bring substantive charges against them they should be tried in open court.

I look forward to your urgent action in this matter.

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111,
E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk, pspm@pmsectt.gov.pk

2. Mr. Murad Ali Shah
Chief Minister of Sindh
The Government of Sindh Province
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 920 2000
Email: pressecy@cmsindh.gov.pk

3. Federal Minister of Interior Affairs
Ministry of Interior of Pakistan
R Block, Pak Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 51 9212026
Fax: +92 51 9202624
Email: interior.complaintcell@gmail.com, ministry.interior@gmail.com

4. Minister For Human Rights
Through Secretary,
Ministry of Human Right
State Life Building No. 5, Blue Area, Jinnah Avenue, China Chowk,
Islamabad
Tel: 051-9216620,
Fax: 051-9216621,
Email: secretary@mohr.gov.pk

5. Mr. Tahir Shahbaz
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 9213452
Email: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
High Court Building
Saddar, Karachi
Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9213220

7. Mr. Anwar Sial
Home Minister,
Government of Sindh
Barrack 79, Pakistan Secretariat
Near MPA hostel
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9204456
Tel: +92 21 9201920-1
E-mail: secy.home@sindh.gov.pk

8. Justice Majida Rizvi
Regional Directorate of Human Rights,
Block no. 5, Sindh Secretariat No.4-A, Frere Road, Karachi.
Ph: 92-21-99205835
Fax: 92-21-99205837
Email: justicerazvi@hotmail.com

9. Ms. Anis Haroon
Member, National Commission for Human Rights, Government of Pakistan
State Life Building No. 3, Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Phone No. +92 21 99201638
Fax: +92 21 99201641
Email: anisharoon4@gmail.com

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