Farooq Tariq of the Labour Party Pakistan has sent an urgent email appeal to protest the detention of LPP federal committee member Baba Jan who had surrendered himself before an anti-terrorist court in Gilgit last week. He “has been taken out of jail in Gilgit and now the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is torturing him on the name of investigation,” fears LPP. The judge had sent Baba Jan to prison on judicial remand instead of physical remand to the police. “He was dragged out of jail yesterday by the intelligence agencies,” alleges the alert.
Labour Party Pakistan demonstrated today at Islamabad National Press Club and has planned more demonstrations across Pakistan.
Baba Jan’s “crime” was that he had organised rallies and demonstrations against the police firing that killed two activists near Atta Abad Lake. They had been among the protesters demanding compensation for those affected by damage caused by the Atta Abad Lake floods last year.
Instead of arresting the police officers involved in the death of two activists, police registered 16 cases against Baba Jan and others. They arrested over 36 activists. The community protected Baba Jan but after a month underground, he surrendered himself at a court. Currently, six activists including Baba Jan are under arrest, facing charges many of which are believed to be fabricated.
Baba Jan joined Labour Party Pakistan in 2004 and was elected to the LPP federal committee at its congress in Faisalabad in 2010. Previously one of the main leaders of Peoples Youth, he had left the PPP youth wing to join LPP and organized Progressive Youth Front (PYF) across Gilgit Baltistan. He was among the first one to raise the issue of Atta Abad Lake and toured Pakistan in 2011 to organize rallies and demonstrations to highlight the plight of the villagers who lost their homes due to this newly formed lake caused by deforestation, soil erosion and climate change. He spoke to national media in press conferences held in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
The corporate media finally took up the issue and some compensation was paid to the affectees. However, a new movement began to urge compensation for all the affected, as some had not been compensated. Police opened fire in July 2011 killing two activists; Baba Jan and his comrades took up the case.
Labour Party Pakistan appeals to all human rights organisations, political parties, trade unions, youth and peasant organisation to take up the case of Baba Jan to save his life.
For more information, please contact Ihsan Ali president Gilgit Baltistan High Court Bar Association and member of LPP Federal committee (03462524792) or Nisar Shah general secretary Labour Party Pakistan (0300 2147960)
For Farooq Tariq’s dispatch in August, see Pakistan: Baba Jan: The most wanted political activist in Gilgit Baltestan
Labour Party Pakistan
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