290 Baloch protesters released from government custody

Web DeskDecember 25, 2023
290 Baloch protesters released from government custody

The interim government announced the release of 290 Baloch demonstrators arrested during a protest in Islamabad against enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. This decision followed negotiations between the Baloch protesters and a cabinet committee, leading to their release from jails and police custody.

Originating from Turbat on December 6 after the alleged extrajudicial killing of a Baloch youth by Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel, the Baloch protest march arrived in the federal capital last week. Subsequently, they faced police detention, with more than 200 protesters taken into custody, prompting the march to become a sit-in outside the National Press Club.

In response to the crackdown, the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) issued a three-day ultimatum for the government to drop charges against students and activists, releasing all protesters. Following this, Islamabad police announced the release of the detained protesters after bail was approved. Additionally, the police set up a “special help centre” for their release.

The interior ministry confirmed the release of 290 detained protesters in a statement, emphasizing the citizens’ right to peaceful protest but warning against unlawful behavior. Ensuring the security of the Red Zone, which houses important institutions, was highlighted. Despite this, the BYC claimed on social media that around 100 protesters remained in police custody or were missing, expressing concerns for the safety of Dr Zaheer Baloch. Dr Mahrang Baloch, another march organizer, demanded the release of all protesters, threatening further actions otherwise

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