Calls for the Release of Zahid Baloch

04.27.14

Calls for the Release of Zahid Baloch

04.27.14
via Youtubevia Youtube

In 2003, Zahid Baloch joined the Baloch Student Organization (BSO). After years of working within the organization he became the chairman of BSO-Azad in 2012. Throughout his career with BSO-Azad, Zahid Baloch has been an active member of the organization, conducting protests and delivering speeches. On March 18th 2014 multiple eyewitnesses witnessed Zahid Baloch’s abduction by Pakistani agents in Quetta. In 2013, Pakistan imposed a ban on Baloch nationalist groups. On April 22nd, BSO-Azad representatives held a press conference to announce a hunger strike by Latif Johar at the Karachi Press Club. Since then, several activists have been demonstrating for his release. During the press conference, Banuk Karima Baloch urged the UN to ensure the protection of the BSO-Azad protesters currently engaged in peaceful demonstrations.

BSO-Azad also announced a nation-wide strike from April 25th to the 27th. The strike call was supported by all the Baloch nationalist parties. Many Balochistan towns have shut down as a result of the strike. On April 27th, Baloch activists in the UK also held a demonstration to protest the abduction of Zahid Baloch outside the prime minister’s office at 10 Downing Street. An online petition has been created at Change.org by Tarek Fatah urging Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to “Intervene with the Pakistan Government and the Pakistan Army to secure the release of Zahid Baloch.” Various Baloch pro-independent parties have voiced their concern of the abduction of Zahid Baloch and continue to urge various human rights groups to play a role in his release.

The Baloch Human Rights Council of Canada attended a briefing in Toronto on gross human rights violations in Turkmenistan, South Azerbaijan and Balochistan. During the April 24th conference, BHRC-Canada informed Bob Dechert about the recent abduction of Zahid Baloch. BHRC representatives urged Mr. Dechert to secure the release of Zahid Baloch.

On April 26th a local journalist interviewed BSO-Azad’s Banuk Karima Baloch and Latif Johar. During the interview Latif Johar stated, “We are students. Our weapons are pens and books and we do not believe in violence. We believe in fighting for our rights through democratic political means.” Voice for Baloch Missing Persons held a press conference at the Quetta Press Club to show their support for the BSO-Azad demonstrators in Karachi. In a brief statement, they said, “International country and united nation must raise their voice against abduction of Zahid Baloch.”

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