KARACHI: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Tuesday expressed serious concern at the disappearance of Baloch Student Organization-Azad (BSO-Azad) chairman Zahid Baloch, who was stated to be picked up in Quetta last month, and demanded his safe and immediate release.
In a statement issued from Lahore, the Commission said: “HRCP is seriously concerned over the case of Zahid Baloch who was picked up in Quetta on March 18 by plainclothesmen believed to be from security agencies. Even more disturbing is his unacknowledged detention for over a month now.”
It said BSO-Azad has been holding a hunger-strike camp outside Karachi Press Club for the last 10 days to press for Zahid’s release. HRCP is extremely worried about risks to Zahid’s life and wellbeing in custody and urges the authorities that his detention must be immediately acknowledged and his release ordered. HRCP also demands that he must not be mistreated or tortured in custody, the Commission said.
It said: “We have long advocated that anyone accused of contravening of any law must be tried in a court of law with due process rights and must not be made to disappear. HRCP also thought it was of vital importance that those who indulged in disappearing people should be tried without delay, again with all due process rights.”
“HRCP also wants to humbly suggest to anyone who wishes to strike at impunity for the perpetrators that it might be useful to record the testimony of several witnesses who were present when Zahid was picked up.”