Dec 29, 2023
As the sit-in against enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of Baloch people enters its eighth day, protestors previously detained by the police have finally been released, as confirmed by Dr. Mahrang Baloch, prominent Baloch missing persons activist and the sit-in’s key spokesperson.
“Finally, the remaining 34 protesters have returned,” the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
— Baloch Yakjehti Committee (Islamabad) (@BYCislamabad) December 28, 2023
Meanwhile, the BYC has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government for negotiations to meet all its demands.
Demands of Baloch Protesters
In a press conference on Thursday, Dr. Mahrang Baloch demanded that a UN fact-finding mission be sent for a detailed probe into rights violations in Balochistan. “All victims of enforced disappearances should be immediately released and restrictions should be placed on the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD,” she added.
Dr. Mahrang also reiterated that the Ministry of Interior should confess to the alleged deaths of missing persons in fake encounters and a press conference should be held in this regard.
She further demanded that fake cases against all peaceful protesters be immediately withdrawn.
“If the government does not hold sincere talks on our demands and does not show seriousness, the movement will express its disappointment with all state institutions and put its case before the Baloch people. They would then be the ones to decide matters.”
پریس کانفرنس! pic.twitter.com/dF5gIUc0sn
— Baloch Yakjahti Committee – Kech (@BYCKech) December 28, 2023
Brutal use of force against Baloch protesters
The long march led by Baloch women started in Turbat on December 6 following the extrajudicial killing of a Baloch youth by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) officials. It reached the federal capital on December 21. However, in a bid to stop them from reaching the national press club, Islamabad police launched a crackdown on the demonstrators and used brutal force.
Police baton charged and arrested over 160 #Baloch men and women last night as #LongMarch against enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings reached #Islamabad. Security forces fired water canons and tear gas at the protesters. Baloch Yakjehti Committee has filed a… pic.twitter.com/X4PnLLCfih
— Voicepk.net (@voicepkdotnet) December 21, 2023
The police action sparked severe criticism and condemnation from human rights groups, politicians and civil society activists. Many prominent people spoke out in solidarity.
In protest, returning my Sitara e Imtiaz, given to me by a state that continues to abduct and torture Baloch citizens. Journalists of my generation have seen @SammiBaluch and @MahrangBaloch_ grow up in protest camps. Ashamed to witness a new generation being denied basic dignity. https://t.co/yrw4STuzKk
— Mohammed Hanif (@mohammedhanif) December 23, 2023
Climate justice activists all over the world stand in solidarity with @MahrangBaloch_ and other peaceful protesters who have been detained, tortured and disrupted by Islamabad police for protesting against human rights abuses in Balochistan.#MarchAgainstBalochGenocide
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 22, 2023
I stand with my Baloch sisters who are demanding accountability against enforced disappearances. It is their right to protest peacefully and their voices must be heard. https://t.co/lvgkhQGVbf
— Malala Yousafzai (@Malala) December 22, 2023