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News :: Human Rights
BALOCHISTAN : "Disappearance"/Fear of torture and ill-treatment
05 May 2006
URGENT ACTION APPEAL

To read the current newsletter, go to
http://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent/newslett.html

----------------------------------

05 May 2006
UA 124/06
"Disappearance"/Fear of torture and ill-treatment

PAKISTAN
Abdul Rauf Sasoli (m)
Saeed Brohi (m)


The two men named above, who are leaders of a Baloch
political party, the Jamhoori Watan (Republican National
Party) were detained by the security forces in February and
March respectively, and have not been seen or heard from
since. The authorities have denied all knowledge, and they
are feared to have "disappeared". They are in danger of
torture.

Abdul Raof Sasoli was picked up by two plainclothes police
officers on 3 February as he was coming out of the Safari
Park, in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Karachi. The police
apparently drove him away in his own car. Saeed Brohi, who
was with Abdul Raof Sasoli at the time he was abducted, was
picked up on 10 March in Karachi.

A lawyer has filed habeas corpus petition in the High Court
for each of the men, and believes they are in the custody
of Pakistan Military Intelligence. Both the provincial
police and military departments have denied having either
man in their custody. Their habeas corpus petitions are due
for another hearing in mid-May and the court is now waiting
for a response from the Federal Ministry of Defense (which
is responsible for Military Intelligence) on the
whereabouts of both men.

The abduction and unacknowledged detention of these and
other Baloch activists violates a number of human rights
guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan, as well as
international human rights standards. The Constitution
states in Article 9: "No person shall be deprived of life
and liberty, save in accordance with law." It lays down in
Article 10 that every detainee has the right to be informed
of the charges against them, to consult and be defended by
a lawyer of their choice and be brought before a magistrate
within 24 hours of arrest. None of these requirements have
been fulfilled in this case.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Balochistan is one of the least-developed regions of
Pakistan, although it is the site of the country's
principal natural gas installation. The Jamhoori Watan
Party is one of a number of Baloch parties campaigning for
the region to be better developed, and for local people to
be given both a bigger share of the revenue from the gas
produced in the province, and more access to the gas itself
for cooking and heating. Following a December 2005 attempt
on President Musharraf's life a military operation was
launched in Balochistan. Baloch political activists have
campaigned over recent allegations of the unlawful killing
of villagers by the army in Balochistan.


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as
quickly as possible:
- expressing concern for the safety of Abdul Raof Sasoli
and Saeed Brohi, who "disappeared" following their arrest
in February and March 2006 respectively;
- reminding the government that incommunicado detention is
a violation of an individual's fundamental rights
underlined by Articles 9 & 10 of the Pakistan Constitution;
-calling on the authorities to make the whereabouts of
Abdul Raof Sasoli and Saeed Brohi known without delay;
- seeking assurances that they are not being tortured or
ill-treated;
- calling for them to be granted access to their families,
lawyers, and any medical attention they may require;
- calling for them to be released if they are in custody,
unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal
offence, in which case they must be given a fair and prompt
trial.


APPEALS TO:
President Musharraf
Pakistan Secretariat,
Islamabad,
Pakistan,
Fax: 011 92 51 9221422
E-mail: CE (at) pak.gov.pk / president (at) pak.gov.pk
Salutation: Dear President

Mr. Rao Sikandar Iqbal
Minister for Defence
Mnistry for Defence
Pakistan - Secretariat
Islamabad
Pakistan
Fax: 011 92 51 9271113
Salutation: Dear Minister


COPIES TO:
Ambassador Jehangir Karamat
Embassy of Pakistan
2315 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 686 1544
Email: info (at) pakistan-embassy.org


Please send appeals immediately. Check with the AIUSA
Urgent Action office if sending appeals after 16 June 2006

Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
PO Box 1270
Nederland CO 80466-1270
Email: uan (at) aiusa.org
http://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent/
Phone: 303 258 1170
Fax: 303 258 7881


T. Kumar
Advocacy Director for Asia & Pacific
Amnesty International USA
Phone: (202) 544-0200 ext. 224
Fax: (202) 546-7142
Email: tkumar (at) aiusa.org
http://www.amnestyusa.org
See also:
http://bso-na.org
http://balochunity.org

This work is in the public domain
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