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Outcry Erupted as Police Targeted Baloch Protesters Over Enforced Disappearances

  • Posted on December 21, 2023
  • News

In Islamabad, a Baloch protest against enforced disappearances led to a police crackdown, resulting in arrests and outcry from various groups. Reports indicate over 200 arrests, including activist Mahrang Baloch. Human rights bodies and politicians condemned the violence, urging the government to address the Baloch people's grievances.

Outcry Erupted as Police Targeted Baloch Protesters Over Enforced Disappearances Image Source

Amidst a rally in Islamabad, Baloch protesters demanding justice for enforced disappearances faced a forceful response from the police, inciting widespread condemnation. The clash between demonstrators and security forces escalated when several protesters, including activist Mahrang Baloch, were apprehended.

 Videos circulating on social media platforms depicted a scene of chaos as security officials used water cannons and tear gas on the crowd, leading to physical altercations. Reports confirmed the arrest of at least 200 individuals, igniting strong reactions from human rights organizations, analysts, and political figures who condemned the authorities for the aggressive crackdown.

The unrest unfolded as demonstrators aimed to voice their dissent against enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of Baloch people. The rally, initiated by Baloch women after an alleged extrajudicial killing, encountered impediments as police blocked access to the National Press Club and surrounding areas.

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The police spokesperson alleged the presence of masked individuals wielding batons among the protesters, justifying the use of non-lethal methods to control the situation. However, critics contested these claims, emphasizing the peaceful nature of the protest and demanding the immediate release of detainees.

Various human rights commissions, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), denounced the use of force, highlighting the separation of women and elderly from their families as "unjustified." Calls for dropping charges against the detainees and conducting impartial investigations into extrajudicial actions gained momentum.

Politicians like former Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party criticized the violent response, urging the state to address Baloch citizens' concerns rather than resorting to force. Former human rights minister Shireen Mazari deemed the police action condemnable, emphasizing the need to resolve the genuine issues faced by the Baloch community.

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