Baloch groups on Thursday (local time) wrote a letter to UN Rapporteurs and UN bodies on Women’s day to recognize the Baloch women struggle against enforced disappearance by Pakistani forces and sought UN intervention.
The letter was addressed to UN Rapporteurs, Reem Alsalem Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, Mary Lawlor Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders, Alice Jill Edwards Special Rapporteur for Torture and other cruel treatment, and to UN bodies – The Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED), and UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
“We, the concerned organizations (Baloch Voice Association, Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, and Baloch Peoples Congress), Baloch people’s representatives, and human rights activists, write this letter to draw your attention towards the continued abuse of rights of Baloch women by Pakistani forces. In recent years, the Baloch women protesting, against enforced disappearances have been threatened, attacked, and disappeared by force. They have been kept in army torture cells where many have been sexually abused,” read the letter.
According to the 2022 data, out of 787 enforced disappearances, 101 women were victims of enforced disappearances. However, instead of addressing their concerns, the Pakistani state has continued to ignore their plight, and the practice of enforced disappearance has gradually increased.
The letter urged UN to take immediate action to make Pakistan accountable for the acts of enforced disappearances and asked Pakistan to ratify the UN articles on the protection of all people from enforced disappearances.
The letter highlights the struggle of Baloch women who have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the Pakistani state for years. The Baloch women have been at the forefront of the struggle for the rights of the Baloch people, and their contribution to the struggle cannot be ignored.
Enforced disappearance has been a major human rights issue in Balochistan for several years. Many Baloch women have been abducted, forcibly disappeared, tortured, and killed by the Pakistani state security forces. These women have been subjected to unimaginable torture and abuse, and their families have been left with no information about their whereabouts.
The letter stated, “On this International Women’s Day, we want to bring the attention of the UN to the plight of Baloch women who have been subjected to enforced disappearance, torture, and killings. These women are the bravest of the brave, and their struggle against enforced disappearance is an inspiration to all of us. We urge the UN to recognize the Baloch women’s struggle and to take concrete steps to end the practice of enforced disappearance in Balochistan.”
The joint letter has been signed by a number of Baloch organizations, including the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, Baloch Peoples Congress, and Baloch Voice Association. International Organizations Paris Integration Forum, and Association MIMAN also have endorsed the document.
The letter concluded, “We urge the UN to take immediate action to help end the suffering of Baloch women and to bring an end to the practice of enforced disappearance in Balochistan. We look forward to working with the UN to ensure that justice is served for the victims of enforced disappearance in Balochistan.” (ANI)