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Balochistan: Fake encounters on the rise, 442 disappearances and 366 people killed in 2021, says Human Rights Commission report

A total of 38 students were on the list of enforced disappearances. Eighteen were released, while 20 are still missing. The report suggested all the victims were subjected to inhuman torture during interrogation.

On May 11, the Human Rights Commission of Balochistan released its annual report for the year 2021. In the report, HRC said there was an increase in fake encounters, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, target killings, torture, collective punishment, and the killing of women for honour in the family.

As per the report, 47 fake encounters were committed by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Police. 442 people went missing, and a total of 366 people were killed in 2021 alone. The report suggested that students remained the prime target of the military and its shadow organizations not only in Balochistan but also in other parts of Pakistan.

Enforced disappearances on the rise

In the case of enforced disappearances, HRC of Balochistan received information of 442 people. 170 of them were reportedly released after torture, but the whereabouts of 272 people remained unknown. Under the pretext of national security, in some cases, entire villages were bulldozed in military operations. Children and women were detained and shited to army camps where they allegedly received inhumane torture. Political activists and their family members remained on the hit-list of the military as well as state-sponsored death squads. Many families from rural areas disappeared without leaving any trace.

New laws were introduced to restrain the movement of villagers

As per the law, all-male members above the age of 12 are required to appear in a nearby army camp at least once a month. The Army has restricted entry and exit to the villages. Even for small purchases like food or travel, the locals need to get permission from the Army.

Rampant honour killings

Honour killing of 57 women was reported in 2021. They were killed on the charge of alleged adultery. Those who killed the women got a free hand from the government as not a single arrest was made, the report stated.

Families of victims targetted

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior has proposed amendments to the law that would put the families of the victims of enforced disappearances in jeopardy. As per the proposed amendments, if the family fails to prove the state’s involvement in the disappearance, they would face charges that could lead to up to 5 years in prison and a fine of PKR 100,000. As per the report, members of civil society, NGOs, human rights commission etc. were not part of the standing committee, making it impossible for the victims’ families to have a stand.

Students were targetted

A total of 38 students were on the list of enforced disappearances. Eighteen were released, while 20 are still missing. The report suggested all the victims were subjected to inhuman torture during interrogation.

Extra-Judicial killings

As er reports, Frontier Corps, a para-military force, allegedly killed 50 people, 47 people were allegedly killed by Police CTD in a fake encounter, Baloch Militants were responsible for 44 killings, and 57 women were killed in the name of honour.

Fake charges on locals

HRC suggested people were framed for crimes that they had not committed. For example, Siraj Ahmed, a mentally unstable person, was framed by Counter-Terrorism Department in a terror attack. His family was threatened to bring Siraj to Army Camp to submit statements. Disobeying the orders would have meant facing military action. When Siraj was brought to the camp along with another accused by their respective families, he was tortured by the military personnel. Siraj, a 15-year-old boy, was later sent to Khuzdar, and the military told the family that it would take at least six months for him to come back.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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