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UN human rights rapporteur expresses concern on alleged police harassment of Baloch protests

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor on Wednesday expressed concern regarding reports of police harassment of ongoing protests against enforced disappearances in Balochistan.

Protests are currently under way in Karachi and parts of Punjab and Balochistan in solidarity with the main sit-in by the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) in the federal capital against enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.

Organisers of the Islamabad sit-in have accused the police of harassing their supporters and profiling them as well as registering first information reports against them.

Lawlor posted on social media platform X today that she discussed the ongoing protests with activists Dr Mahrang Baloch and Sammi Deen Baloch — two of the organisers of the Islamabad protest.

“The reports of police harassment are very concerning. Spurious criminal complaints against peaceful protesters should be dropped,” she said.

Mary Lawlor UN Special Rapporteur HRDs on Twitter: “Today I met WHRDs @SammiBaluch & @MahrangBaloch_ to discuss the ongoing protests against enforced disappearances in Balochistan, #Pakistan. The reports of police harassment are v. concerning. Spurious criminal complaints against peaceful protestors should be dropped @PakUN_Geneva pic.twitter.com/Kd6vRvL8T3 / Twitter”

Today I met WHRDs @SammiBaluch & @MahrangBaloch_ to discuss the ongoing protests against enforced disappearances in Balochistan, #Pakistan. The reports of police harassment are v. concerning. Spurious criminal complaints against peaceful protestors should be dropped @PakUN_Geneva pic.twitter.com/Kd6vRvL8T3

Sammi said the two briefed Lawlor on the march, as well as “multiple arrests in Taunsa, police filing fabricated cases against marchers, including myself, and the prime minister labelling us as terrorist sympathisers.”

 

Mahrang Baloch on Twitter: “We had a pleasant conversation with @MaryLawlorhrds, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, and her colleagues. Informed her about the police crackdown on peaceful protesters, the malicious media campaign, and absurd comments by the caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan… https://t.co/MGIFzwIPyE / Twitter”

We had a pleasant conversation with @MaryLawlorhrds, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, and her colleagues. Informed her about the police crackdown on peaceful protesters, the malicious media campaign, and absurd comments by the caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan… https://t.co/MGIFzwIPyE

Meanwhile, the Islamabad police rejected the reports while responding to the UN official, saying that “it’s expected that such accusations must not be repeated without evidence.”

 

Earlier today, lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir informed the Islamabad High Court that Baloch protesters camped outside the National Press Club were being “threatened through a death squad.”

In response to Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani’s inquiry about the death squad, she explained that it was a squad “under the patronage of the state that kills people.”

The judge observed that such matters bring disrepute to the country, and directed the station house officer of Kohsar Police Station to ensure the security of the protesters in the capital.

Dr Mahrang, possibly encouraged by the response to previous strike calls, had said a day ago that the BYC would soon announce plans for a nationwide strike to demand transparency regarding the details of missing persons.

The BYC camp, which has been established since December 22 and is now on its 48th day, continues to attract more participants despite harsh weather and pressure from law enforcement agencies.

Baloch Yakjehti Committee on Twitter: “48th Day of the movement against Baloch GenocideFrom the very first day of this movement against the Genocidal policies practised by State apparatus in Balochistan. Those in power, apart from addressing this pressing concern have tried to justify the Genocide of a nation through… pic.twitter.com/Xyn82h5vht / Twitter”

48th Day of the movement against Baloch GenocideFrom the very first day of this movement against the Genocidal policies practised by State apparatus in Balochistan. Those in power, apart from addressing this pressing concern have tried to justify the Genocide of a nation through… pic.twitter.com/Xyn82h5vht

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