Balochistan: Leaked video shows military brutally killing unarmed person

A chilling video has surfaced in Pakistan, opening a window into military’s decade-long brutalities in Balochistan.

Dozens of soldiers in the paramilitary Frontier Corps’ uniform open bursts of fire on an unarmed man in Balochistan’s Dasht area in Mekran division, killing him on the spot.

The incident, captured in the video, took place in Kros-e-Tank area in Dasht on February 25, 2017. The man being shot at has been recognized as Rafiq Shahsawar.

Pakistan military has long been accused by human rights groups and activists of committing extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other abuses in the restive Balochistan region. However, the military has persistently denied such charges and restricted journalists from entering the affected areas. The recent video provides rare, graphic evidence of the military’s highhandedness.

Rafiq left his home after two major military operations and lived in rural areas of Dasht. On 25 February 2017, the military sieged the village and conducted a heavy operation. He was wounded and unarmed as the video shows and was killed in cold blood.

Aslam Shahsawar killed by military along with three others in Gébon, Kech. Photo:HRCB

The house of the family has been under attack since 2012. On 27 April 2012, military sieged Gébon village of Turbat, district Kech and killed one of brothers, Aslam Shahsawar, along with three others, in a same kind of operation. Family says Aslam was killed with same brutality, but there was no such evidence, as the incident of Rafiq has.

Hakim Shahsawar injured and later killed by Military. Photo:HRCB

In April 2012’s military operation, one of the brothers, Hakim received a bullet in his leg and was wounded. On 5 August 2012, military sieged the house again and killed Hakim.

Next year, in 2013, another brother, Hayát Shahsawár, got a bullet, in Kalatuk village of district Kech, where military opened random fire in main bazar, after they were attacked. Hayat received two bullets on his hands and one in his back bone. He was disabled and could not move his feet even.

Hayat Shahsawar, a poet, dragged from his bed to the street and shot killed by military. Photo:HRCB

On 13 April 2015, military sieged the house again and conducted another military operation. This time, military took the disabled Hayat Shahsawar, known as Hayat Bewas, the poet. Soldiers dragged him from his bed to the streets, shot him killed in the same way and then claimed he was killed in a battle, when Hayat the disabled poet and his friends attacked the military in a mountainous area in the region.

The video provides human rights groups and independent journalists with an opportunity to investigate the military’s alleged role in Balochistan with hard evidence. This is undeniable evidence, but it’s of no use unless HR bodies and media corroborates its authenticity and its high time that situation of Balochistan be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

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Human Rights Council of Balochistan (Hakkpaan) is a non-profit and non-partisan human rights group based in Balochistan and Sweden. It collects reports from Balochistan, a region Pakistan government does not allow any media and HR group to visit and report. Human rights violations in Balochistan is not a new phenomenon, but it got its worst levels after the Military coup de tat of Pakistan in 1999. Thousands of Baloch have been reported missing, hundreds killed in fake encounters and so-called kill and dump policy of the military. HRCB collects the data from Balochistan itself, through its network of volunteers and supporters, organizes and reports them to the human rights mechanisms of the world.