Baloch Human Rights Organization’s Vice Chairperson, Tayyaba Baloch held a press conference in Quetta Press Club against enforced disappearance of women and children by security forces from different areas of Balochistan.
Addressing the Journalists, she said, “You all people are well aware of the serious situation of human rights in Balochistan. However, the purpose of this press conference is to bring the deteriorating humanitarian situation of Balochistan to the notice of government’s institutions”.
The people of Balochistan are concerned about their lives and are living under the continuous threat of being killed in bomb blasts, target killings or get forcibly disappeared by security forces, she added. The families of enforced disappeared persons mourn every time a mutilated body recovers till its identification. They spent most of their times in front of press clubs for the safe recovery of their loved ones.
Baloch Human Rights Organization’s Vice Chairperson, Tayyaba Baloch said that the humanitarian situation in Balochistan worsened when forces starting abducting women who raised their voices for the safe recovery of their loved ones and families and relatives of activists. Security forces during military operations are targeting women and children for being family members of political activists in the widespread policy of “Collective Punishment” and transferring them to military camps.
According to our local coordinator, in December 2017, forces abduct dozens of women from district Awaran and transferred them to military camps and since then an increasing number of women’s abduction by forces have been recorded. In last 2 months, cases of dozens of enforced disappearances of women and inhumane treatment of forces during military operations have been submitted to us. On August 8, 2018, security forces in a raid forcibly disappeared Adeela, wife of Sanaullah and her three minor daughters namely; 6 years old Soorat, 4 years old Sammo and an infant Chammo from Grehshag, district Khuzdar. Their father Sanaullah is abducted by security forces before and is still in their illegal custody.
On July 31, forces forcibly disappeared Jummul and his wife Bibi Waseema from Gichk, district Panjgur. Their whereabouts are still unknown. On July 22, Noor Malik along with her 2 daughters, Sameena and Haseena are forcibly disappeared by forces during an operation in Alangi, Mashkai. Similarly, on June 27, Gul Bano and her daughter were transferred to military camp from Lal Bazar Jhao. Separately, on the same day, forces abducted 70 years old Nodo and her daughter, Saima. The abductees from Jhao were released on the second day in critical condition after subjecting them to inhumane treatment. Hence, a number of such incidents have been reported in the last few months where women and children are victimized and punished for being family members of political activists.
Tayyaba Baloch further said that according to clause 1 and 5 of United Nations Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict;
- Attacks and bombings on the civilian population, inflicting incalculable sufferings, especially on women and children, who are the most vulnerable members of the population, shall be prohibited, and such acts shall be condemned.
- All forms of repression and cruel and inhuman treatment of women and children, including imprisonment, torture, shooting, mass arrests, collective punishment, destruction of dwelling and forcible eviction, committed by belligerents in the course of military operations or in occupied territories shall be considered criminal.
Pakistan’s own constitutions bound state for the safeguard of its citizen but in Balochistan, law and enforcement agencies not only violating United Nations conventions but also violating its own law and constitution. According to international humanitarian law, punishing family of any alleged or convicted criminal will be count in serious crime but in Balochistan, law enforcement agencies are targeting families of political activists in their policy of collective punishment. As per Pakistan’s constitution, parliament and judiciary are the most authoritative institutions but in Balochistan, they seem to be helpless in front of security forces whereas, media is also silent on this issue which is a matter of great concern. Through this conference, we appeal to parliament and judiciary to play an effective role and take immediate measures to end human rights violations in Balochistan and safely release women and children.