December 2023 Report [English]

Report Summary: Significant Topics Covered

  • Statistics on Human Rights Violations in December
  • Long March against Baloch genocide, struggle for justice and accountability
  • Partcipants of the Long March against Baloch Genocide violent
  • Paank appeals to international organizations to listen to Long March participants

Statistics on Human Rights Violations in December

Throughout December 2023, instances of severe human rights violations persisted in Balochistan attributed to Pakistani forces. The Pakistani army conducted illegal detentions, resulting in the enforced disappearance of 54 individuals from various areas.

Among those affected, there have been instances of recovery and return for 32 individuals who were previously subjected to enforced disappearances by the Pakistan army, notably Jan Muhammad Baloch, who went missing from Shaal, Baluchistan’s primary city, on July 25, 2015. Similarly, Hafiz Ababaki, who endured an enforced disappearance four years ago, was recovered and returned home on December 30, marking the end of a prolonged period of enforced disappearance absence.

Tragically, December also saw two cases of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Pakistan army. Sharif Bugti, a resident of Dera Bugti, faced torture resulting in his death at the hands of FW personnel in Karachi. Another incident involved the state-sponsored death squad fatally shooting ‘Zahir, son of Abdul Samad,’ in Panjgur district.

Long March for Justice and Accountability against Baloch Genocide

The Long March ignited on November 23, 2023, stemmed from the tragic events unfolding in Bank Chadahi near Turbat, the capital city of Kech District, and Balochistan. Sparked by the extrajudicial killing of Balach, son of Mola Bakhsh, alongside Shakur, Abdul Wadood, and Saif Baloch, relatives of Balach, determined to protest this custodial killing, held the body in Shaheed Fida Chowk Turbat, refusing buried Balach’s forced disappearance from Absar Turbat, followed by his extrajudicial killing, unfolded after his detention by state forces from his home. Notably, Balach was scheduled to appear before the Judicial Magistrate Turbat on November 21, having been granted a 10-day physical remand by the court before being unjustly killed.

In the wake of enforced disappearances, persistent non-recovery of forcibly missing persons, and staged encounter killings in Turbat, protests veiled Kech and Makuran for 16 days. Frustrated by the authorities’ indifference, various groups, including the Baloch Solidarity Committee, Civil Society Turbat, Baloch Women Forum, and Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, commenced an extended march from Turbat on December 6, 2023, protesting against the Baloch Genocide.

Participants of the Long March against Baloch Genocide violent

Journeying through different areas, the marchers persevered until reaching Shaal, Baluchistan’s main city, on December 11. Despite police attempts to thwart their progress with barricades on Sariab Road, the participants overcame these obstacles and encamped on Sariab Road.

However, the Balochistan government countered their efforts, erecting barricades at key locations like Nall, Khuzdar, Sorab, and Kalat. Furthermore, multiple FIRs were filed against numerous members, including leaders Dr Sabia, Sami Deen, and Gulzar Dost.

Instead of addressing the protest’s concerns, the Balochistan government opted to justify extrajudicial killings by its agencies. Government spokesperson John Achakzai and several officials supported these acts through irresponsible statements, ignoring their responsibilities and labelling the Long March participants as externally funded.

Despite enduring harsh conditions, the Shaal protesters were not taken seriously for several days but the Balochistan High Court ordered a fair investigation, calling for the immediate suspension of Regional Officer CTD Makuran Adil Amir and IO CTD Abdullah. SHO CTD Turbat Abdul Ahad and CTD lock-up in-charge were also directed for immediate suspension. However, this court order remains unimplemented, with the suspended CTD officers retaining their positions till the present.

Violence and Arrests during the Long March against Baloch Genocide in Punjab and Islamabad the Long March participants, advocating against the Baloch Genocide, redirected their path to Islamabad after their demands in Shaal were overlooked, and encountering obstacles in every city along the way. Authorities filed cases against March participants and used state force to impede their progress.

Despite widespread public support, robust social media campaigns, and endorsements from global human rights organizations, the marchers faced a harsh crackdown upon their arrival in Islamabad. More than 200 participants, including women, the elderly, and children, were arrested and subjected to torture. Water cannons were deployed, dousing the marchers in extreme cold, and further mistreatment ensued in jail.

Despite the violent suppression and denial of the right to peaceful protest by the state, this Baloch movement for human rights remains a beacon of hope for human rights protection. This movement garners support not only from the Baloch nation but also from Pashtun, Sindhi, Saraiki, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan communities, expressing complete solidarity.

While public opinion in Punjab, the power hub of Pakistan remains divided regarding the march, this marks a significant moment as effective voices from there lend support to the Baloch marcher for the first time.

Numerous prominent media figures in Pakistan openly back this peaceful protest. Additionally, families of forcibly missing persons from various parts of Pakistan joined the Baloch forced missing persons protest, expressing empathy and demanding to reunite with their loved ones.

Despite amassing overwhelming public support, the state authorities persist in using excessive force to thwart this movement instead of earnestly addressing its demands. When compiling this report, there were indications of another crackdown being planned against peaceful protestors engaged in a sit-in. Participants are being denied food and blankets for their use during the sit-in. Moreover, there have been instances of secret agencies confiscating protest loudspeakers under the cover of darkness, with subsequent attempts by the police to seize them being resisted by the participants.

Appeal of Paank to International Organizations to Intervene Against the Baloch Genocide

The Human Rights Department of the Baloch National Movement ‘PAANK’ fervently appeals to global human rights organizations and institutions to lend an ear to the participants of the Long March, highlighting the recent Baloch Genocide and the egregious human rights violations prevailing in Balochistan. We implore these entities to galvanize international public opinion to hold the Pakistani army accountable.

This appeal represents the sole ray of hope in halting the Baloch genocide—a grim reality stemming from Pakistan’s forced occupation of Balochistan, following a deliberate and progressively intensified policy.

The systematic marginalization of the Baloch nation across all facets of life, the erosion of political liberties, and the deliberate erosion of its cultural identity have culminated in widespread atrocities including mass killings and relentless forced disappearances, spanning several decades. To turn a blind eye to these atrocities would forever stain human history.

Districts and areas from where Enforced disappearances are reported

AreaEnforced Disappearances Reported
DG Khan9
Dera Bugti13
Total Cases54
View Report File