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Full Page advert in Top UK Newspaper calls for an End to Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan

Full Page advert in Top UK Newspaper calls for an End to Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan

Full Page advert in Top UK Newspaper calls for an End to Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan

Press release- June 24,2019

A full-page advert in a top UK news has called for an end to Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan. The advert has been published in The Times newspaper, a newspaper which is said to be “an integral and important part of the political structure of Great Britain” with an average daily circulation of 417,298.

The advert placed by the World Baloch Organisation and Baloch Republican Party reads in bold letters “ Help End Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan”, highlighting the dire human rights situation in Pakistan, urging for the end of killings, torture and particularly enforced ‘disappearances’  by the Pakistani establishment in the Balochistan, Sindh and KPK.

This comes as part of a human rights awareness campaign recently jointly initiated by the groups. The campaign has consisted of various outdoor adveritisments including billboards, guerrila advertisments and social media campaigns.

Bhawal Mengal from the WBO said “Oppressed voices are constantly suppressed in Balochistan, they make sure anything happening there does not reach the ears of the outside world, they have tried there best to suppress our voices internationally as well but have not been successful at it, this advert will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people who we hope will come forward and help put an end to this carnage”.

Brahumdagh Bugti, the President of the BRP and a leading figure in the movement said “We hope these adverts make the international community at least look into the matter, they should stop turning a blind eye towards an issue that is in desperate need of the world’s attention. If ignored, the situation will keep getting worse and our people are the only ones who suffer”

Pakistan’s establishment has been long criticized over its practice of enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings by International bodies and local human rights organisations that dare to speak out on the issue. Before being elected as Prime Minister, Imran Khan had admitted in multiple TV interviews the involvement of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings and vowed to resign if he was unable to put an end to the practice, holding those involved responsible.

The organizers of the campaign have long been engaged in efforts to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan at international platforms, organising events around Europe and in the United States and focusing on advocacy activities in the European Parliament, the US parliamentary houses, and the United Nations.

The WBO and the BRP are non-violent and democratic organisations led by Baloch individuals, dedicated to raising awareness of the dire situation of human rights in Balochistan.

Posted by Bhawal Mengal, 0 comments
Billboards go up around London calling for an end to Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan.

Billboards go up around London calling for an end to Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan.

Press release – June 20, 2019
London, United Kingdom — Human rights campaigners from the World Baloch Organisation
and the Baloch Republican Party continue their campaign to highlight the dire human rights
situation in Pakistan. In their latest initiative, Roadside billboards have been put up around
the city of London with slogans “ Help end enforced disappearances in Pakistan” bringing
the world’s attention towards the grave issue.
Bhawal Mengal from the World Baloch Organisation said “This is a call for help, our people need help,
we need someone to put their foot down and say enough is enough, Baloch, Sindhi, Pashtun, Mohajirs
and religious minorities in Pakistan have the right to live without oppression . Mothers, sisters and
daughters weep for their loved ones not knowing if they are dead or alive. It is not only the victim that
suffers but the entire family, not knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones for years or in most
cases for ever”. Mengal’s uncle Assaudullah Mengal was one of the first victims of enforced
disappearances in 1974 at the hands of state forces, never to be seen again.

The billboards have gone up on major motorways and tourist spots around the city including
Westminster where the Parliament House is located. This comes as the UK hosts the quadrennial ICC
cricket world cup attracting thousands of cricket fans to the country . The activists hope to grab the
attention of Londoners and those who have gathered from all around the world to witness the event.
According to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, an entity established by the
Pakistani government, 5000 cases of enforced disappearances have been registered since 2014. Most
of them are still unresolved. Independent local and international human rights organizations put the
numbers much higher. 20,000 have reportedly been abducted only from Balochistan, out of which
more than 2,500 have turned up dead as bullet riddled dead bodies, bearing signs of extreme torture.

“The cases of enforced disappearances continue unabated as we campaign for an end to this heinous
crime against humanity”, said a spokesman of the BRP, adding “there is hardly any household in
Balochistan which has not lost a member as a result of enforced disappearances”.

Teenage Ali Haider, who started protesting for the release of his missing father as a child 10 years
ago, has himself become a victim of enforced disappearances at the hands of state authorities.

Earlier, in January 2014 a mass grave was discovered in Tootak area of Khuzdar. 167 bodies were
recovered from the site. Human rights organisations believed the bodies belonged to previously
abducted individuals who were killed and dumped however the recovered bodies were later buried by
authorities without any DNA testing.

Pakistan’s establishment has been long criticized over its practice of enforced disappearances and
extrajudicial killings by International bodies and local human rights organisations that dare to speak
out on the issue. Before being elected as Prime Minister, Imran Khan had admitted in multiple TV
interviews the involvement of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in enforced disappearances and extra
judicial killings and vowed to resign if he was unable to put an end to the practice, holding those
involved responsible. Families of the abducted victims have long been protesting for the safe recovery
of their loved ones in the provincial capital Quetta, and their protest camp has now completed more
than 3500 days.

The organizers of the campaign have long been engaged in efforts to highlight the worsening human
rights situation in Balochistan at international platforms, organising events around Europe and in the
United States, focusing on advocacy activities in the European Parliament, the US parliamentary houses,
and the United Nations.

The WBO and the BRP are non-violent and democratic organisations led by Baloch individuals,
dedicated to raising awareness of the dire situation of human rights in Balochistan.

 

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Posted by Bhawal Mengal, 0 comments
Mancherstor police assaults freedom of speech; stops Human Rights ads during Pak-India WC match

Mancherstor police assaults freedom of speech; stops Human Rights ads during Pak-India WC match

 

June 17, 2019
Manchester, UK: In a blatant assault on freedom of speech, the Greater Manchester police on Sunday stop an aerial advertisement calling for to “End Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan” and “Justice for Balochistan” during yesterdays India vs Pakistan world cup clash.

The plane carrying the banners was intercepted mid-air and was asked to cancel its planned flight over the Old Trafford Stadium where arch-rivals India & Pakistan were playing the most anticipated World Cup Cricket Match.

The advertisement company calls the censorship by the Greater Manchester Police “siding with persecution of the people of Balochistan. “The company in a series of tweets termed it “overstepping the mark” and termed it an attack on freedom of speech and expression saying the GM Police cannot decide on “what messages can and can’t be towed”.

This comes as part of an ongoing awareness campaign by Baloch human rights campaigners calling for an end to gross human rights abuses in Pakistan, especially enforced disappearances of Baloch, Pashtun, Sindhi, Mohajir and other ethnic & religious minorities by the state authorities.

 

World Baloch Organization and Baloch Republican Party have recently jointly launched a campaign in the UK with the tagline End Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan. According to the official figures, there have been 5000 cases of enforced disappearances in Pakistan since early 2000. Unofficial estimates are much higher, up to 20 thousands cases in Balochistan alone, by various human rights groups.

The organizers have termed the crackdown by GM Police “shocking” and “against values of civilized countries like the UK”. Bhawal Mengal, representative of the WBO, said such an attack on human rights campaigns and freedom of speech “is against the values this country stands for, this will not deter us from our quest for justice”.

A spokesman of the BRP said “the Greater Manchester Police must review its decision of curbing freedom of speech” which might “encourage states like Pakistan with a terrible human rights record to continue human rights abuses with impunity.”

However campaigners were successful at marketing entry and exit points of the stadium holding the event with similar slogans, urging visitors at a much anticipated match to play their part to help end enforced disappearances in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the advertisement company has raised a legal complaint at the Greater Mancherster high court in an attempt to overturn the decision made by GM Police hindering a human rights advert and freedom of speech.

The WBO and the BRP are non-violent and democratic organizations led by Baloch individuals, dedicated to raising awareness of the dire situation of human rights in Balochistan.

Posted by Bhawal Mengal, 0 comments
Reverse-graffiti by Baloch activists urges Londoners to “Help end” human rights abuses in Pakistan.

Reverse-graffiti by Baloch activists urges Londoners to “Help end” human rights abuses in Pakistan.

Press release – June 13, 2019

London, United Kingdom — As people from all around the world flock to London to witness the quadrennial ICC cricket world cup, Baloch activists from the World Baloch Organisation and the Baloch Republican Party  organized reverse-graffiti (also called ‘clean graffiti’) in various spots around the city centre in the early hours of thursday. The clean graffiti read, “Help End Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan,” highlighting the dire human rights situation in Pakistan.

“Men women and children are disappeared on a daily basis in Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mothers, sisters and daughters weep the streets of Quetta everyday demanding justice, their voices are suppressed by a media blackout enforced by the military, these activities are the only way we get to raise awareness amongst the international community ” said Bhawal Mengal, World Baloch Organisation campaigner.

This comes as part of a human rights awareness campaign recently jointly initiated by the WBO and BRP. The campaign focuses on the dire human rights situation of the Baloch ,Sindhi, Pashtun, Mohajir and other minorities in the country, urging for the end of killings, torture and particularly enforced disappearances by the Pakistani establishment in the region.

The activists tagged pavements in front of popular tourist spots such Oxford Street, Piccadilly circus, Marble arch, Trafalgar Square, London Bridge and outside the BBC headquarters .  Activists used high pressure washers and stencils to render their messages, it reiterated the groups motive “To peacefully deliver a call for help” as the organizers pointed out.

“We are dedicated to making the voices of the oppressed heard around the world, urging the international community to stand up against the violence suffered by the people of Balochistan, Sindh and KPK, an issue largely marginalised in the media but well reported by prominent organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.” added Mengal “Baloch activists will continue to speak out for human rights and freedom of expression regardless of the constant attempts by the Pakistani government to suppress the voices of those who suffer in Pakistan..”

Pakistan’s establishment has been long criticized over its practice of enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings by International bodies and local human rights organisations that dare to speak out on the issue. Before being elected as Prime Minister, Imran Khan had admitted in multiple TV interviews the involvement of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings and vowed to resign if he was unable to put an end to the practice, holding those involved responsible.

The organizers of the campaign have long been engaged in efforts to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan at international platforms, organising events around Europe and in the United States and focusing on advocacy activities in the European Parliament, the US parliamentary houses, and the United Nations.

The WBO and the BRP are non-violent and democratic organisations led by Baloch individuals, dedicated to raising awareness of the dire situation of human rights in Balochistan.

 

 

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Posted by Bhawal Mengal, 0 comments
WBO and BRP call for end to Enforced Disappearances in newly launched awareness campaign in London.

WBO and BRP call for end to Enforced Disappearances in newly launched awareness campaign in London.

London, United Kingdom- The World Baloch Organisation and the Baloch Republican party have jointly launched a human rights awareness campaign in the city of London. The campaign hopes to highlight the dire human rights  situation in Pakistan, particularly the human rights abuses faced by the ethnic Baloch , Sindhi, Pashtun, Mohajir and religious minorities in the country.

The campaign will focus on the issue of Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan, where thousands have been forcibly disappeared by Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agencies. Most are extra-judicially killed and their bodies dumped on roadsides bearing signs of extreme torture, others stay missing forever, Amnesty International has called it the “Kill and dump” policy. Victims include activists, teachers, students, doctors, intellectuals and journalists who have voiced their opinions against the military’s iron grip over the country. The military’s control over the local media is such that anyone reporting such incidents risks falling victim themselves. International NGO’s and Journalists are not given access to Balochistan where most of the cases of disappearances have been registered.

In the first phase of the campaign, advertisement bikes were seen riding all around London’s city centre carrying banners that read “Help end enforced disappearances in Pakistan”. Bhawal Mengal, a representative of the WBO said “ The ads look to bring the attentions of Londoners and foreign tourists towards the dire situation, we hope the International community stands up for our rights and pressures the Pakistani establishment into putting an end to the inhumane practice” , the president of the BRP who is a leading figure in the movement and a co-organizer of the event said “ We have no choice but to raise our voices at international forums regarding the situation, activists that have tried to speak up for their rights in Balochistan have either been killed or disappeared, it is up to the international community to decide if they want to stay silent over the killings of innocents on a daily basis or speak up and end this carnage”.

Pakistan’s establishment has been long criticized over its practice of enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings by International bodies and local human rights organisations that dare to speak out on the issue. Before being elected as Prime Minister, Imran Khan had admitted in multiple TV interviews the involvement of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings and vowed to resign if he was unable to put an end to the practice, holding those involved responsible.

The organizers of the campaign have long been engaged in efforts to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan at international platforms, organizing events around Europe and in the United States and focusing on advocacy activities in the European Parliament, the US parliamentary houses, and the United Nations.

The WBO and the BRP are non-violent and democratic organisations led by Baloch individuals, dedicated to raising awareness of the dire situation of human rights in Balochistan.

 

Posted by Bhawal Mengal, 0 comments
Sit-In Protest camp for the recovery of missing people completes 3600 days.

Sit-In Protest camp for the recovery of missing people completes 3600 days.

 

Voice for Baloch Missing Persons’ (VBMP) in front of Quetta press club completed 3600 day.

Mama Qadeer Baloch, Vice President of VBMP said in a statement stated the hinderances he faced while running the camp, “Several times we made this clear that VBMP is totally Non Political organisation but unfortunately the military bans our workings and data collection in major parts of Balochistan and the saddest part is the media and human rights organisations are completely silent on Balochistan’s issue” .

According to VBMP, more than 40,000 Baloch men, women, and children are under Pakistani custody.

VBMP also alleges that at least 5,000 missing persons have been killed and dumped over last one decade.

International campaign groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also accuse Pakistani security forces as the perpetrators of ‘illegal abductions in Balochistan’.

Posted by Bhawal Mengal, 0 comments
Balochistan: Disappearances continue, 6 more disappear

Balochistan: Disappearances continue, 6 more disappear

Six persons, including two students, have been forcefully disappeared from different areas of Balochistan.

According to  The Balochistan Post, security forces have forcefully abducted six more men from Kalat, Kharan and Awaran districts in Balochistan.

Abductions in Kalat:

According to The Balochistan Post , two students went missing when they were on their way from Quetta to Punjgoor district.

The missing persons have been identified as Feroz Baloch and Jameel Baloch.

According to local sources they were taken away by civilian clothed armed men.

Abductions in kharan:

Three more Baloch civilians were abducted from Kharan Area of Balochistan.

Pakistani Forces arrested at least 3 more Baloch from different areas of kharan, Balochistan in an ongoing military operation on Wednesday.

According to the local sources, during the said military operations, Pakistani security forces arrested and disappeared at least three Baloch civilians. The two arrested were identified as ikram Baloch and kamran, whereas, the identity of the third person is yet to be ascertained.

In another in incident, a person named Diljan Baloch was ‘abducted’ by security forces from Mashkay, area of district Awaran.

Balochistan is plagued by the enforced disappearances of Baloch youth and activists. However, recent instances of ‘women and children abductions’ has added to the concerns of Baloch masses.

International campaign groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International accused Pakistani security forces as the perpetrators of ‘illegal abductions in Balochistan’.

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UK Houses of Parliament emblazoned with projection raising human rights issue in Balochistan ahead of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

UK Houses of Parliament emblazoned with projection raising human rights issue in Balochistan ahead of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

Last night 17 March, the World Baloch Organisation (WBO) organised a projection over the UK Houses of Parliament that read “Commonwealth Nations must question Pakistan over enforced disappearances in Balochistan” and “Pakistan must answer for crimes against humanity”

The WBO’s latest initiative comes as the city hosts the biennial summit – the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The summit brings together heads of governments, ministers and global business leaders from 53 nations to discuss and promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The projection aims to catch the attention of Commonwealth leaders and urge them to contribute in ending the widespread abuse of human rights in Balochistan.

A representative of the organisation, Bhawal Mengal said “ The human rights situation in Balochistan is worsening. Enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial killings of Baloch men, women and children are a recurrent experience. Systematic oppression committed on behalf of the Pakistani state has been prevalent for decades.”

The WBO believes that the projection will serve as a key message and reminder to World leaders of their responsibility to speak out against Pakistan’s crimes against humanity in  Balochistan. This is of vital importance in improving the economic and socio-political situation and ending human rights violations within Balochistan. The projection also aims to raise awareness amongst Londeners on the dire situation that desperately calls for international attention and support.
 
The new initiative comes after successful campaigns in London, New York and Manchester, and Geneva where the campaigns attracted mediatic attention and triggered the interest of public opinion. The campaigns were successful in spite of having faced strong opposition from the Pakistani government – in London, Pakistan’s request to ban WBO’s adverts was ruled out by the Council of the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), proving the peaceful character of the WBO’s initiatives.
 

Posted by WBO Media Team
Joint WBO & UNPO Press Release: Side-event to the UNHRC Explores the Implications of CPEC for the People of Balochistan

Joint WBO & UNPO Press Release: Side-event to the UNHRC Explores the Implications of CPEC for the People of Balochistan

On Tuesday [13 March 2018], the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT), the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) and the World Baloch Organisation (WBO) co-organised the conference “A Legacy of Injustice: CPEC and its impact on Balochistan” at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva. The side-event to the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council focused on the brutal consequences of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that are inflicted upon the local indigenous peoples of Balochistan, and allowed a discussion on recent occurrences regarding the struggle of the Baloch people for their rights.

The conference was opened by Ms Natalia Carrusca, representative of the WBO and moderator of the event, who introduced a video presentation in which WBO spokesman, Mr Bhawal Mengal, gave a succinct overview of the dire situation of the Baloch people, mentioning the recurrence of human rights abuses such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Mr Mengal also addressed the crackdown on freedom of expression in Balochistan, which results in the marginalisation of the issue in the media and makes it essential to raise awareness among the international civil society and in in international organisations such as the United Nations.

Opening remarks were then given by Mr Fernando Burgés, UNPO Programme Manager, who spoke about the political and security contexto surrounding the implementation of CPEC in Balochistan. Mr Burgés highlighted the growing militarisation put in motion to ensure the safety of Chinese workers and construction sites, repressing against any opposition to the project and bringing more tension to the already unstable region. Moreover, he highlighted the change of demographics conjectured to take place in around Gwadar, which could result in even more political, social and economic marginalisation for the Baloch people.

 

 

The first speaker, Mr Burzine Waghmar (University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies), drew attention to Beijing’s relentlessness in pursuing its interests abroad and the power that it has consolidated over the West, both reflected in the way it implements CPEC over the heads of local populations in Pakistan. Mr Waghmar brought up the concerning fact that Islamabad has agreed to round-the-clock video surveillance being established by the Chinese and reported the shocking increase in land prices in Gwadar. He denounced the free hand enjoyed by Pakistan in wiping out entire villages in Balochistan, where locating cadavers of missing relatives has become a recurrent practice for many families.

 

 

Ms Mahvish Ahmad (University of Cambridge) started the presentation with testimonials from her field work and affirmed that, in spite of the overwhelming atrocities comited against the local population, the region remains a “secret”. She reminded the audience of the historical background of Balochistan, used by Britain as a buffer zone for a long time, and stressed that the past two decades have seen a surge of state violence in Pakistan. Ms Ahmad pointed up that there has been a growing lack of trust among the Baloch themselves: fear of talking to each other, of sharing facts and suffering retaliations. Overcoming suspicion and standing together is, therefore, essential to the Baloch struggle.

Unfortunately, Mr Michael Kugelman (Woodrow Wilson Center) could not take part in the event as planned.

The event concluded with questions and answers.

 

Posted by WBO Media Team
WBO Annual Report of Activities

WBO Annual Report of Activities

The World Baloch Organisation (WBO) has published its annual report of activities, covering the period of March 2017 – February 2018. The report presents a succinct overview of the conferences, seminars, protests and campaigns organised by WBO or in which it participated throughout the past year.

Click here to read and download the report.

 

Posted by WBO Media Team