Protests in Sindh towns against ‘enforced disappearance’ of activists

Published August 21, 2017
SINDH Progressive Committee activists hold a rally in Hyderabad on Sunday.—Dawn
SINDH Progressive Committee activists hold a rally in Hyderabad on Sunday.—Dawn

HYDERABAD: Activists of Sindh Progressive Committee (SPC), an alliance of Communist Party of Pakistan, Awami Workers Party, Awami Jamhoori Party and Jeay Sindh Mahaz-Khalique, and members of civil society took out processions and held demonstrations in Sindh towns on Sunday in protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of peasant leader Punhal Sario and other social and political activists.

SPC activists took out a rally which marched to the Hyderabad Press Club where SPC convener and chairman of his own faction of JSM Abdul Khalique Junejo, AJP’s Abrar Kazi, CPP provincial secretary Comrade Iqbal and AWP Sindh president Bukhshal Thalhu, writer Jami Chandio and Prof Mushtaque Mirani delivered speeches.

The committee had given the call for province-wide protest on Sunday outside all press clubs of the province against ‘enforced disappearances’.

The leaders called for respect for basic human rights, freedom of expression, and production of all ‘missing persons’ in courts if they had committed any crime.

They slammed Pakistan Peoples Party government for its failure to address peoples’ grievances and said there was growing unrest over enforced disappearances.

Mr Junejo said that SPC would continue its struggle till all missing persons were produced in court and the inhuman practice was discontinued. It was a shame that such a stark violation of human rights was being perpetrated under a democratic government, he said.

MIRPURKHAS: Members of civil society and SPC activists held a demonstration outside the press club in protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of peasant leader Punhal Sario and other rights activists.

Kanji Rano Bheel advocate and other social activists lamented that many social workers and human rights activists had been whisked away, causing fear and unrest among people.

They said that ‘missing persons’ had not committed any crime they were just running campaign for human rights.

They demanded the higher authorities provide justice to common man by taking drastic measures against the forces involved in the inhuman practice.

UMERKOT: Activists of SPC took out a rally in Samaro town to register protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of political and social activists.

The committee leader Damro Mal, who led the protest, said that scores of social and political workers had been abducted and their families were running from pillar to post to get information about their whereabouts but to no avail.

He said that Mr Sario was a peasant leader who was abducted after he raised voice for ‘missing persons’. He was a patient of diabetes and heart and was the only male bread earner of his family, he said, adding if there was evidence for someone’s involvement in anti-state activities he must be produced in a court.

KHAIRPUR: The SPC activists took out a rally in protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of political, social and nationalist activists.

Mir Munawar Talpur, Yasin Sindhi, Prof Ghulam Qadir Phulpoto and others who led the rally said that LEAs had overstepped legal boundaries by abducting citizens without charge and detaining them at unknown places.

They demanded that all missing persons be brought before courts.

LARKANA: Political and social activists under the banner of SPC demonstrated outside the Larkana Press Club against ‘enforced disappearances’.

Local leaders of the component parties of SPC termed the practice of picking up people unconstitutional and undemocratic and called for safeguarding their basic human rights.

They appealed to Supreme Court and the authorities concerned to play their role in safe recovery of all missing persons.

BADIN: SPC activists held a demonstration outside the Badin Press Club, terming ‘enforced disappearances’ a sinister campaign.

They expressed fear for the lives of the ‘missing persons’ and said they might be subjected to mental and physical torture during captivity.

They demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff and human rights organisations should help recover the ‘missing persons’ so that they could celebrate Eid with their loved ones.

Riaz Ahmed Chandio, chairman of his own faction of Jeay Sindh Mahaz, said at a press conference here at the press club that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) should release all peaceful activists who had been whisked away from different parts of the province.

He said the practice of ‘enforced disappearance’ of workers of nationalist parties and rights activists like Punhal Sario was creating a sense of deprivation among people of Sindh.

The ‘missing persons’ should be produced in courts of law so that at least their concerned relatives could meet their near and dear ones, he said.

Mr Chandio reiterated his demand that the LEAs should go after corrupt rulers of Sindh, including top leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party, who had destroyed all institutions, instead of launching the crackdown against ‘peaceful’ activists.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2017

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