Saturday, 29 November 2014

Disappearances and extra judicial killings of Sindhi nationalists continues with impunity

Disappearances and extra judicial killings of Sindhi nationalists continues with impunity
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission   November 29, 2014  
Disappearances and extra judicial killings in the Sindh Province continues
unabated; in many cases disappearances have occurred following arrest
by the police and at times by plain clothed persons, presumably from
intelligence agencies; thereafter being taken into custody, most often
tortured and ultimately their bodies are found dumped on the streets.

In the Sindh Province, the security forces have made secular and
nationalist forces and activists their main target, in order to keep
them in illegal detention centres, torture them and thereafter are
extra judicially executed in an effort to eliminate any evidence of
the disappearances. During the year 2014, more than 100 activists from
nationalist groups particularly from the group ‘Jeay Sindh Muttahida
Mahaz’ (JSMM), a banned organisation, have been arrested and are
missing. On the other hand all the banned Muslim militant groups have
made the Sindh Province their safe haven and hiding place. Accusations
are levelled by the nationalist groups that security forces are
targeting nationalist forces to provide a space for religious militant
groups and the Taliban, similar to what took place in the Baluchistan
Province - where today as a result, the sectarian and militant groups
are operating freely and every year they are involved in killing more
than 1,000 persons in such sectarian violence.
In Sindh, the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) is the worst victim of
the intelligence agencies in this regard. Although the members of the
Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), one of the major Sindhi nationalist
parties, Jeay Sindh Tehrik (JST) and other parties have been facing no
different situation, it’s worse for JSMM because they, unlike the
other parties, openly support an armed movement for the freedom of

On 15th August 2014, Mr. Asif Panhwar was arrested in a police raid at
his friend’s house in Nasim Nagar, Hyderabad, in the Sindh Province
and since then he has been missing. After 100 days of his
disappearance his bullet riddled and torture marked body was found on
the 25th of November this year. Asif Panhwar was a local leader of a
banned secular nationalist organisation, the ‘Jeay Sindh Muttahida
Mahaz’ (JSMM). Following his arrest and disappearance his brother
filed a petition in the Sindh High Court for his recovery. As is the
usual practice, the Sindh High Court did nothing, despite the appeals
by his brother that Asif Panhwar might be killed in detention by the
security agencies.
In another such incident on 15th October 2014, Paryal Shah, an
activist of the JSMM was abducted by the Pakistan security agencies
and since then he has been missing. His mutilated body was later found
on 7th November 2014 with clearly visible marks of torture. His body
was dumped near the city of Rahim Yar Khan in the Punjab Province
where military is operating torture cells in their Cantonment area.
Shah hosted the Baloch long march last year for the recovery of Baloch
missing persons. Victim’s brother, Zamin Shah was also killed by the
armed forces in fake encounter.
The bullet ridden body of Mr. Abdul Waheed Lashari, 37 years old, was
found after his disappearance after 15 days after being arrested in
the first week of November 2014 while he was travelling in a passenger
bus. Mr. Lashari was affiliated with the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM)
Arisar group.
On 25th November 2014, a third-year student of Mehran University of
Engineering and Technology, in the Sindh Province went missing from
the Sindh University Housing Society, Jamshoro. Mr. Kamlesh Kumar was
standing at a photocopy shop when two police mobile vans and a car
approached them and dragged him in a police van. His only alleged
crime was that he belongs to the Hindu community and he was
participating in the protests against the persecution of religious
minority groups. He was not affiliated with any political group. The
family searched for Kamlesh at the police stations in Jamshoro and
Hyderabad and to no avail.
Many such activists who stand up against the kidnapping of Hindu
victims often go missing in the Sindh Province. The Chairman of Sindh
Human Rights Organization (SHRO), Fayaz Shaikh was abducted from the
city of Karachi. He has been organizing demonstrations on behalf of
several Hindu girls who have been kidnapped in Pakistan. He has been
abducted by unknown persons on 24th November 2014. His disappearance
came on the eve of yet another demonstration he was supposed to
organize under the auspices of the Sindh Human Rights Organization on
behalf of the nine Hindu girls kidnapped by the Islamic seminaries in
the Sindh Province. This is ironic since he was a leading voice who
began a campaign to approach the United Nations Secretary General, Ban
Ki-Moon, to take notice of the enforced disappearances of young Sindh
activists and to call for an end to all such kidnappings and
abductions of minorities and human rights activists there.
Another activist Mr. Rohel Laghari, 22 years old also belonging to the
JSMM was abducted on the 1st April 2014 from Hyderabad and his
whereabouts too are to date unknown.
Mr. Sarvech Pirzado who was yet another activist belonging to the
group JSMM and an employee of a private medical company was abducted
from the impress market in Karachi on 12th September 2014 by plain
clothed persons and was later hurled into a four wheel type jeep. His
family has filed a petition before the Sindh High Court for his
recovery but as in all the other instances, to date no decision has
been taken by the Court.
On October 11, the bullet riddled body of an activist of JSMM, Mr.
Shakeel Konhari, was found dumped near the Malir Military Cantonment,
Karachi. He was arrested from his house by the unknown persons.

The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the Government of Pakistan to
stop the persecution of the Sindhi nationalists and halt once and for
all these illegal and unconstitutional methods of enforced
disappearances and extra judicial killings in Pakistan. If the law
enforcement agencies have the evidences against the suspects and if
there are criminal charges against them the government must bring them
before the civil courts of law and tried.

The AHRC also urges the government to immediately ratify the
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from
Enforced Disappearance and implement its provisions in law, policy and
practice, and in particular include a new and separate crime of
enforced disappearances in the penal code, as the government has
already pledged before the United Nations visiting team, the working
group of enforced and involuntary disappearances in 2012.

# # #
About AHRC:The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional
non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia,
documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional
reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The
Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Read this Statement online
Asian Human Rights Commission
Asian Legal Resource Centre
Unit 1 & 2, floor 12,
Hopeful Factory Centre
10-16 Wo Shing Street, FOTAN,
New Territories. HONG KONG

No comments: