BHRC will host a webinar to discuss the worsening human rights situation in Western Balochistan

London: 01/04/2021 

The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) will be hosting a webinar on Saturday 24 April 2021 at 5 pm UK Time to discuss the human rights situation in Western Balochistan and the various humanitarian challenges facing its people by the Iranian authorities.

The webinar will bring together a panel of Baloch intellectuals and human rights defenders to shed light on the socio-economic deprivation of the Baloch people in Iran including the extra-judicial killings and the summary executions of the Baloch by the Islamic regime of Ayatollahs. 

Further details about the webinar will be published at a later date.

BHRC to host a webinar on the humanitarian crisis in Balochistan

London: 31/03/2021

Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) is organizing a webinar entitled, “BALOCHISTAN IN CRISIS: ASPECTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY PAKISTAN” on 17th April 2021 at 5 pm UK Time

Scholars, Sindhi and Baloch human rights activists, and journalists will deliberate on various aspects of crimes against humanity being committed by the state authorities in Balochistan including enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, curbs on freedom of information, and activities of death squads. 

Further details will be announced later.

BHRC expressed concerns over the omission of Balochistan’s Humanitarian crisis in UN’s Global Update Statement

London: March 29, 2021

The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) has communicated its serious concerns to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, over the omission of the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Balochistan in the Global Update Statement submitted by her excellency on 26 February 2021 during the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.

In a letter, BHRC executive president Dr Naseer Dashti expressed his shock that despite the details of such atrocities being published in the national media and reported by international human rights organizations, the august institution such as the UN High Commission for Human rights can ignore what is happening in Balochistan. He observed that the Baloch Human Rights Council and families of the victims of enforced disappearances in Balochistan are disappointed by the exclusion of Pakistani atrocities in Balochistan.

The letter which included a list of many cases of enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in Balochistan in the year 2020, informed the High Commissioner that the human rights violations in Balochistan by the Pakistani state has many aspects and include the enforced disappearance of political and social activists, extra-judicial killings, the formation of death squads by the army, the formation of proxy militant religious organizations, open patronization of the narcotics business, and the ruthless exploitation of natural resources by Chinese corporations. 

Michelle Bachelet was requested not only to take a personal interest to investigate the oversight in the report whether it is intentional or unintentional on the part of the people who prepared it but it was also demanded that a UN fact-finding mission should investigate extra-judicial killings and mass disappearances of the Baloch political and social activists. It was also demanded that perpetrators of the heinous crimes against humanity in Balochistan should be brought to justice by initiating cases against them in the international court of justice in The Hague.

UN urged to send an investigation mission to Balochistan

Geneva: 09/03/2021

The UN Human Rights Council was asked to intervene and send an investigating mission to observe some of the most pressing human rights situations in Balochistan at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Item 3. 

Delivering the BHRC intervention statement on item 3, Thierry Valle drew the attention of the council to the blatant violations of the international human rights treaties that Pakistan has signed up to, and it continues to violate those human rights instruments in her pursuit to quell the Baloch national struggle for the right to self-determination.

She highlighted the sufferings of thousands of families in Balochistan whose loved ones are kept incommunicado for many years. 

“The military establishment of Pakistan and its clandestine agencies and death squads are involved in kidnapping, torturing and murdering Baloch activists and human rights defenders with impunity”, she reiterated.

Urging the council to send a fact-finding mission to investigate the gross violations of human rights in Balochistan and to make the military officials accountable for their crimes against humanity, she added that despite repeated requests from Baloch Human Rights Council and other international human rights organizations for intervention in Balochistan, the silence of the international community is incomprehensible. 

THE UN-WGEID BRIEFED ON Enforced disappearances in BALOCHISTAN

London: 20/02/2020

The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) briefed the United Nation’s Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) on 19th February 2021, during the 123rd session of the Working Group. In a virtual meeting with the group, Qambar Malik, the Information Secretary of BHRC briefed the members on the plight of thousands of disappeared persons in Balochistan.

The meeting was chaired by the Chair-Rapporteur Mr. Tae-Ung Baik, while other members of the Working Group Ms. Aua Balde, and members from the WGEID Secretariat also attended the meeting. The working group was given a detailed presentation by the BHRC representative about the Baloch conflict with Pakistan that has resulted in the enforced disappearances of thousands of Baloch dissidents. The BHRC representative outlined the patterns and methods of enforced disappearances employed by the state authorities. He maintained that although Balochistan records the highest numbers of cases, cases of enforced disappearances are also common in Sindh and KPK provinces.

BHRC representative informed the Working Group members that the victims of the enforced disappearances include people from all walks of life and of all ages and gender. Many of these victims were tortured to death and their mutilated bodies were dumped in Balochistan and Sindh, whereas, the majority remain detained incommunicado. The members of the Working Group were briefed that the families of the victims of enforced disappearance who are not a direct party to the conflict suffer the consequences, who have resorted to unceasing protests after exhausting nearly all legal remedies. 

The WGEID members were informed that despite documented evidence of the involvement of the state security forces in the crimes against humanity, the perpetrators of these crimes enjoy impunity. 

Sammi Baloch, daughter of the forcibly disappeared Dr. Deen Muhammad, and Seema Baloch, sister of forcibly disappeared Shabbir Baloch provided testimonies about the disappeared members of their families and talked about the derogatory remarks by the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (COIED) a few days ago. The Working Group also heard testimony by a Baloch victim of Enforced Disappearance who shared his predicament of illegal detention and torture in Pakistan.

The WGEID expressed grave concern upon hearing the testimonies and took a special interest when the case of Hani Gul’s disappearance along with many others was highlighted by the BHRC representative.

The members of the WGEID assured that they continue to closely monitor the situation in Pakistan and particularly in Balochistan. They asserted that WGEID will provide as much as possible assistance to the families in communicating their cases to the Pakistan Government. 

BHRC demands UN intervention in the proper investigation into the KarimA Baloch’s Death

The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) has demanded the United Nations intervention for a proper investigation into the death of Baloch political activist Karima Mehrab. 

In a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, BHRC’s Executive President Dr. Naseer Dashti has drawn the attention of the UN chief on the matter of the mysterious death of Karima Baloch in Toronto.

Secretary-General was requested to take personal initiative to ask the Canadian authorities for conducting a thorough investigation considering the context in which Karima Baloch had fled Pakistan. The letter also demanded that a United Nation committee should take the matter into its consideration. 

The letter has drawn attention to the ongoing conflict between the Baloch and Pakistani state in which the Pakistani state establishment has responded violently to the genuine demands of the Baloch people to be provided with the rights and opportunities to live a dignified life according to their socio-cultural values. It has reacted to the genuine demand of the Baloch people for the right of self-determination as enshrined in the United Nation charter with full military might. Because of a protracted conflict between the Baloch and Pakistan, thousands of the Baloch socio-political activists and human rights defenders were compelled to flee and seek refuge in different countries of the world.

The letter has drawn the attention of the Secretary-General towards the fact that human rights violations by Pakistan are not limited to the socio-economic exploitation, destruction of the language, culture, enforced disappearances, and physical elimination of the Baloch in Balochistan but it appears that it has expanded its activities outside Pakistan and its secret services are believed to be behind the enforced disappearance and mysterious deaths of different Baloch activists who have taken refuge in different regions particularly in Europe and North America. 

The letter reminded the UN chief that unfortunately, repeated calls by the Baloch political parties and human rights organizations have failed to galvanize international intervention or any meaningful action by the United Nations to press Pakistan to change its course of action to spare innocent civilians and dissidents from this violence. Due to this indifference, the innocent Baloch civilians in general and the Baloch socio-political workers and human rights defenders continue to be targeted inside and outside Balochistan with impunity.

The letter requested the good office of the Secretary-General to seriously look into the matter of Karima Baloch’s mysterious death so this could exemplify to bring an end to the systematic violence of the state against the Baloch dissidents and incentivize the United Nations and the international community to pave way for a peaceful resolution of the Baloch conflict with Pakistan.

BHRC demands a thorough investigation into the death of Karima Baloch

London:

The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) has expressed grave concern about the death of well-known political leader Karima Baloch in Toronto. Considering Karima Baloch’s political profile and her death in mysterious circumstances, we demand a thorough investigation into the matter.

Karima Baloch was a prominent political and human rights figure who challenged the criminal policies of the state establishment of Pakistan in Balochistan. She led the Baloch Students Organization – Azad (BSO-Azad), most vocal of the students’ organizations that campaigned for the right to self-determination of the people of Balochistan. BSO-Azad was banned by the state authorities in 2013. Many of its members and leaders were extra-judicially murdered and forcibly disappeared. Considering the threat to her life, Karima Baloch fled Pakistan and sought refuge in Canada in 2015.

In fact, thousands of Baloch socio-political activists have been compelled to flee Pakistan for their lives and seek refuge in different countries of the world where they continue to raise awareness about the human rights and humanitarian challenges facing the Baloch people in Pakistan. Karima was one of those strong voices in the western world.

Karima was found dead in Toronto on Monday 22 December, after having been missing for a day. The Police determined the case as a non-criminal death, however, there is an increasing demand from the Baloch human rights and political organizations demanding that the case be investigated as a murder.

We also take this opportunity to extend our sympathies to her family. According to Karima Baloch’s family and friends, she had recently received threats from unknown individuals because of her political and human rights activities. We share her family’s concerns surrounding Karima’s case and, therefore, urge the Toronto Police to consider and evaluate all the relevant factors and information to conclude.

BHRC to hold a webinar on the International Human Rights Day

London:

The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) will be holding a webinar on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2020 at 5-7 pm UK time.

Prominent human rights defenders and scholars will discuss various aspects of human rights violations in Balochistan. 

Further details will be released later.

The call for international intervention in Sindh and Balochistan: legal and humanitarian aspects

Samad Baloch

The principle of humanitarian intervention is based on the notion of protecting people from being harmed. The actions of a consistent case of human rights violations by a state would transfer the duty of the protection to the broader community, which is to the international community. Many actions of the religious fundamentalist state of Pakistan during the last few decades are in clear violation of international laws concerning the protection of citizens. 

This is a brief analysis of the concept of international intervention and how it relates to the continuous and blatant violations of the fundamental human rights of the Baloch and Sindhi people.

The term humanitarian intervention has a broad meaning which contains a wide range of actions taken by state or states to protect people from violence or improve their conditions of wellbeing across the state borders. In other words, it is actions carried out by the international community to protect the political, social, and economic rights of the individuals. The universal human rights principles state that this is the duty of all states to promote and protect human rights regardless of their political and economic issues, meaning if a state is unable to protect or guarantee the rights of its people then there’s an international community that has to make sure that people have access to a just system. 

From a practical point of view, the humanitarian intervention may also take place through peaceful means if the country of particular concern would give in under the international pressure and allow the international observers and peacekeeping forces into the country. The peaceful method of UN operations is designed to ease the tension, monitor the situation, and provide an environment for negotiation. The UN missions can be deployed on the request or with the consent of the state in conflict or without consent or request.

The Genocide Convention and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948, guaranteed the protection of people and individuals across the world. The declaration provided a collective and international response to the rights of individuals, and it was asserted that human rights would have primacy over the sovereignty of the state. For the first time in history, states came under the direct scrutiny of the international community and the non-governmental organizations about their domestic conduct. 

States are considered equal members of the international community and enjoy equal rights to maintain their various affairs. They also have equal duties for the entire community of nations and are expected to guarantee human rights and dignity. The obligation of a state regarding the rights of its citizens considered to be the part of its statehood and sovereignty. The sovereignty of a state is not holy per se;  it is the people who make a state respectful. The sovereignty of a state is important so the rights of its people as the people are the source of the legitimacy of the state. 

After the formation of the United Nations, there were two waves of international interventions occurring during the Cold War and in the post-Cold War era. In 1960-1964, Belgium and the United States intervened in Congo after violence broke out in the country which was followed by US interventions in the Dominican Republic in 1965, Grenada in 1983, and Panama in 1989.  France and Belgium intervened in Zaire in 1978 and in the same year Vietnam intervened in Cambodia. France has intervened in the Central African Republic seven times since its independence in 1960. Alongside the above interventions, there was one of the most significant humanitarian interventions that took place in South Asia in 1971. The systematic genocide committed by the Pakistan army in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) prompted Indians to act and the Indian army intervened preventing the further slaughter of Bengalis. The second wave of interventions came after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, which was more collective in terms of international norms and organization.

Liberia was an example of a long-drawn intervention by the international community beginning in 1990. In 1991 the United States, France, and the United Kingdom established a no-fly zone in northern Iraq to protect the Kurds from being massacred by the Iraqi army. The United States and the United Nations also became the part of international humanitarian efforts in Somalia in 1992, Rwanda in 1993, Haiti in 1994, and Sierra Leone in 1999.  The intervention of the international community ended the bloody conflict in Yugoslavia resulting in the creation of many independent states.  In 2011, a multi-state NATO-led intervention in Libya brought down the brutal regime of Colonel Gaddafi. Besides these humanitarian interventions, the United Nations played a great part in the independence of Eritrea in 1991, East Timor in 1999, and South Sudan in 2011.

The first and most important role of a state is to protect its citizens from being harmed and the second is to provide them justice according to the laws of the state and the rules of the international legal orders. But in Pakistan, things are very different, perhaps because Pakistan is not a normal country. Let alone protecting or providing the means of justice, Pakistan has been causing injuries and slaughtering its citizens. The only reason for that is that they dare to demand their democratic and national rights. On the other hand, the Islamic extremists, Taliban, and other outlaws enjoy the freedom of activity. They are allowed to incite and carry out violent acts against liberal politicians, human rights activists, and the minorities groups. The army considered them the part of the sacred security forces of the Allah-given state. These Jihadi groups are declared strategic assets of the state.  Many of the jihadi organizations patronized by the army are believed to be harbouring international terrorists who have carried out many acts of terrorism in countries including France, the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. The Allah given country has become a haven for terrorists. It became hell for those who are raising voices for their national rights or opposing the exploitation of their natural resources. It became the worst place on this planet earth for the human rights campaigners and religious minorities.  

The army and its proxy jihadi organizations have unleashed a reign of terror throughout Balochistan and Sindh. Numerous death squads were created by intelligence agencies. They are assisting the military authorities in the dirty work of dumping the bodies of political activists in remote areas of Balochistan. The armed forces have been using heavy artillery and helicopter gunships against the Baloch people. These indiscriminate attacks on civilian settlements have caused heavy civilian casualties including women and children in many parts of Balochistan. In some cases, the entire town and villages were burned down by the army, making thousands of internally displaced persons. Thousands were lucky enough to flee the country and are now in various parts of the world away from their land and loved ones. Thousands of people have been missing for years and their fate is still unknown. There is strong evidence that the continued forced disappearances and the “kill and dump” policy of Pakistan has reached to a systematic genocide of the Baloch nation. These heinous crimes against humanity have been widely reported by many national and international organizations including, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Amnesty International, and the Human Rights Watch. 

In recent years, Sindh is witnessing new waves of enforced disappearances and kill and dump activities. Hundreds are verifiably missing for months and years. The surge in the kill and dump activities in Sindh is a replication of the army’s adopted strategy in Balochistan. Dumping of the tortured and mutilated bodies of Sindhi political activists and intellectuals has become a daily occurrence. The forced conversion of the Hindu minority population into Islam is a shameful reminder of the medieval ages where people were forced to abandon their ancestral faith with the use of force. 

The actions of the Pakistani state are blatant violations of fundamental human rights enshrined in the UN charter and various conventions. Pakistan is among the worse human rights violators in modern history and equally responsible for sponsoring Jihadists in various countries. The behaviour of the religious state is leading a disastrous situation which might be a great threat to the world’s peace and security. 

The Baloch and Sindhis are facing a grave humanitarian crisis. They are facing some of the worse subjugation, persecution, and genocide measures in recent history. They are seeking international intervention in the face of genocide actions of the religious state of Pakistan. When a state refuses to accept the internationally recognized human rights values or fails to protect the basic human rights of its citizens or a state descending into a civil war and unable to protect people from violence, it becomes the responsibility of the civilized world to intervene. The humanitarian intervention is a form of collective reaction of the international community against the violation of its core principle. The concept of a humanitarian intervention lies in the moral and legal responsibility of the international community, and the international legal system must not be hijacked by the bureaucratic rules and regulations in a situation where human lives are at stake. Searching for a flawless international legal approach would give us thousands of more Sindhi and Baloch dead bodies and catastrophic human suffering for millions of people in Sindh and Balochistan.

Samad Baloch is the Secretary-General of the Baloch Human Rights Council

BHRC’s Information-Secretary highlights Balochistan’s human rights situation during the 45th session of the UNHRC

Geneva: 25/09/2020

Qambar Malik, the information-secretary of the Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) delivered a statement on the deteriorating human rights situation in Balochistan during the Item-4 General Debate of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“Balochistan is suffering a severe humanitarian crisis, having been in the throes of a ruthless genocidal conflict for the past two decades”, Qambar told the UN. 

The BHRC representative emphasized that the Pakistani army’s sponsored death squads are roaming with impunity. A large number of Baloch youth has been the victim of forcible disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Thousands of them have fled to different countries in recent years.

Commenting on Pakistan military’s crimes against humanity in Balochistan, he further said that the military establishment of Pakistan and its clandestine agencies are kidnapping, torturing, and murdering activists and human rights defenders to counter the Baloch people’s demand to exercise their right to self-determination. The recent killing of a student Hayat Baloch in Turbat testifies to that. He was brutally murdered by the Frontier Corps while his parents were forced to watch his unfortunate fate.

“Considering the gravity of the situation, we request this council to put a resolution in the Council to send a fact-finding mission to Balochistan to investigate the gross violations of human rights and subsequently, make the state military officials accountable for their crimes against humanity in Balochistan”, added Qambar.