American Friends of Balochistan
American Friends of Balochistan
Freedom is a right of all nations
August 26, 2011
Contact: 301 957 0008 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON DC: To mark the International Day of the Disappeared, the premier pro-independence American Friends of Balochistan is organizing a round table conference on enforced disappearances at the National Press Club in Washington DC.
Please click for details of venue and directions at: http://www.press.org/events/international-day-disappeared
Articles 1 and 2 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance specifically states that,
1. No one shall be subjected to enforced disappearance.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance.
Article 5 of the convention further states that "The widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance
constitutes a crime against humanity as defined in applicable international law and shall attract the consequences provided for under such applicable international law."
Article 17, section 1, of the convention states "No one shall be held in secret detention."
The United States has yet to ratify the U.N. convention against disappearances.
Countries like Pakistan apparently feel emboldened to carry on with their enforced disappearances and other crimes against humanity in Occupied Balochistan because of lack of interest on this critical issue in the West, including the U.S.
According to the 2010 report of the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances largest number of urgent appeals, 10 each, were sent to Pakistan and Mexico on new cases of enforced disappearances last year.
Overall, 48 news cases were reported to the WGEID in 2010 and the new cases that were reported to the WGEID during 2010 were Mexico 10 and Pakistan 8.
However, Pakistan alone had at least 200 such cases, with majority of the victims reportedly killed as part of Pakistan's kill-and-dump policy in Occupied Balochistan.
Enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings are a norm in Occupied Balochistan, a France-sized strategic territory in southwestern Pakistan which forms more than 40 percent of Pakistan's land mass and less than 10 percent of its people.
Since July 2010, nearly 250 Baloch secular political activists have been forcibly disappeared and executed in Balochistan and their bodies thrown in the wilderness as part of the kill-and-dump policy of the Islamic republic of Pakistan.
In its 2010 report on Pakistan the WGEIDnoted with concern the increase in the number of contemporary
cases of enforced disappearances in Pakistan and reminds the Government of its obligations under the Declaration to prevent and terminate acts of enforced disappearance in any territory under its jurisdiction (art. 3).
The Working Group calls upon Pakistan to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and accept the competence of the Committee under articles 31 and 32.
Organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, Unicef, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, International Federation of Journalists have all voiced their concern at the horrific situation in Occupied Balochistan.
Eminent scholars, human rights practitioners and press freedom advocates will attend the conference at the Murrow Room of the National Press Club. The address is:
The National Press Club 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor - Washington, DC 20045 Tel: 202-662-7500
(The closest metro station is Metro Center and you will take the exit to 13th Street).
The day is Tuesday and the date is August 30, 2011, time 2 pm.
About the A.F.B. : The A.F.B. endeavors to expose the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide being perpetrated on the Baloch people in Pakistan and Iran by the world's two dangerous Islamic republics.