Sunday, August 21, 2005

Concern over detention of BSO activists

16.08.2005


LAHORE, Aug 15: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) says the reports regarding the
health and welfare of three members of the Baloch Students Organization (BSO) currently being detained
by law enforcement agencies are deeply worrying.

A commission statement said that it had been informed that the three men — Dr Allah Nazar, Mr Nadim
Akhtar and Mr Gohar — were in precarious mental and physical health.

“The condition of Dr Allah Nazar is said to be especially grave. This is indeed hardly surprising given the
long and apparently illegal detention of the men, and the physical and mental torture inflicted on them
during this period.

“The three young men were among seven members of the BSO taken into custody in Karachi in March.
Four of them who were released in May reported torture, degrading treatment and detention in isolation
for periods extending to a month. BSO leaders in Quetta have also stated that while these three men have
been produced before a court on Aug 13th and remanded in custody, other political activists including all
Asghar Bungulzai, Gohram and Saleh, picked up on various occasions this year, remain in unexplained
and unauthorised detention.

“It is also obvious that the illegal detentions and torture in custody are one part of a broader strategy of
intimidation and harassment being pursued across the country. During the first seven months of the year,
political activists, journalists and other citizens expressing dissent have all been picked up and subjected
to similar intimidation. It also seems personnel of agencies and police are acting with growing impunity
in carrying out such illegal acts.

“HRCP demands all illegally detained people held in the country be produced before courts, and charged
if they are guilty of any unlawful act. It also calls for civil society groups to be given access to detained
persons. The tactic of illegally arresting people can do nothing to dampen dissent, but will only add to the
anger and frustration growing in the country, adding to the already existing threat of further violence and
mayhem. ”—PR
http://www.dawn.com/2005/08/16/nat25.htm

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