QUETTA: A score of women and children participated in a rally in Quetta on the first day of Eidul Azha to protest the abduction and disappearance of hundreds of Baloch, appealing to the international community, particularly the United Nations for help.
The rally, organised by advocacy group Voice For Baloch Missing Persons (VFBMP), began from a hunger strike camp outside the Quetta Press Club and marched through the provincial capital.
About 50 women and children participated in the protest holding placards and portraits of their loved ones and chanted slogans such as “release all missing Baloch political opponents or produce them before a court of law and “stop dumping bullet-riddled bodies of missing persons on roads”.
Addressing the protesters, VFBMP Chairman Nasrullah Baloch said that neither the judiciary nor the government had made any efforts to release even a single missing person.
“The issue of enforced disappearances has gone unnoticed, and that is why we have taken to the roads. It has been almost a year and a half since the relatives of missing persons have been on strike,” he said, adding that the National Crisis Management Cell is backing the government and its functionaries.
“Our apprehensions that all missing political opponents are subjected to brutal torture have realised as their mutilated and bullet-riddled bodies are turning up every day,” said sister of Jalil Reki, central information secretary of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP).
According to the VFBMP, as many as 230 bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons have so far been found dumped in desolated places of Balochistan.
“Victims belong to poor families and are merely political workers or affiliated with nationalist parties,” Nasrullah said, putting the figure of missing persons at an estimated 14,000.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2011.
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