Baloch Activists Wraps Up Islamabad Sit-In

Baloch people had been protesting in Islamabad since December 20, 2023 against enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings….reports Asian Lite News

The Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) on Tuesday announced ending their sit-in outside the National Press Club (NPC) in Islamabad against enforced disappearances, Pakistan-based The News International reported.

Baloch people had been protesting in Islamabad since December 20, 2023 against enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.

Baloch activist Mahrang Baloch said they will head back to Balochistan tomorrow with pain, suffering and anti-Baloch attitudes of Islamabad. She said, “We will hold a rally in Balochistan on January 27,” The News International reported.

In a post shared on X, Mahrang Baloch stated, “Tomorrow we are going back to Balochistan from Islamabad with pain, suffering and anti-Baloch attitudes of Islamabad. We will reach our land and convey the stories of Islamabad from the Singlakh mountains of Balochistan to the blue sea.”

“Now our morale and courage have increased, and we will now take this movement to the homes of Balochistan with our powerful morale. It is our promise to our people and the land that we will defeat this imperialist system from our land with the power of the people,” she added.

The development comes a day after NPC Islamabad registered a complaint with the Kohsar Police Station on Monday requesting to remove the Baloch protesters from the open park in front of the NPC.

Earlier in the day, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that it stands with the ongoing Baloch camp led by women against enforced disappearances. It said it is “deeply concerned” by efforts to uproot the Baloch camp.

In a post shared on X, HRCP stated, “HRCP stands in solidarity with the ongoing Baloch camp led by women against enforced disappearances that has faced persistent harassment from local law enforcement, as well as dismissal from government authorities.”

“We are also deeply concerned by efforts to uproot the camp–this violates not only the Islamabad High Court’s order that the camp remain undisturbed, but also the protestors’ right to peacefully assemble. The validity of the Baloch protestors’ demands cannot continue to be ignored, and must be heeded with the legitimacy it deserves, not with undue force or defamation,” it added.

In its complaint, the National Press Club’s administration said that it felt a security threat due to certain reasons, as many political and social personalities of national stature visit the NPC to participate in different functions, The News International reported.

The NPC administration said that the protesters’ sit-in had been going on for more than two months, causing financial loss as the people belonging to political and social sectors as they avoid holding press conferences and other political and social functions at the NPC, The News International reported.

Baloch activist Mahrang Baloch expressed dismay at the letter and stressed that the journalist and media community “have an obligation to stand with people whose voices are neglected,” Dawn reported.

“It is painful to see that even now, the Islamabad Press Club is uncomfortable with our staging a sit-in outside the press club, protesting against enforced disappearances. We understand why they are doing this. There is pressure on us, too, and through various means, we are being harassed and threatened, with the police circulating false information,’ she added.

Another organiser, Sammi Deen Baloch, said, “Earlier, our protests were not covered, but now the journalists are becoming a party and they are angry and disgusted with our protests.” Baloch further said,”I don’t need to tell you what journalistic responsibilities are, but I must say that if there are strong on one side and weak on the other side, then we should take care of the weak instead of the strong.”

Earlier in December, the Islamabad police launched a crackdown on Baloch protesters and dismantled their camps set up outside the National Press Club. Police arrested the majority of the Baloch protesters. The decision was criticised by several human rights activists, which led to the authorities releasing all Baloch protesters after a week-long detention. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Pakistan Rights Body Speaks Out Against Uprooting Baloch Camp


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