The Baloch community in Vancouver is holding a protest on Tuesday, 13th of May at 5:30 PM to 7 PM on the Robson side of the Vancouver Art Gallery against the ongoing military operation in Balochistan, Pakistan.
The purpose of the protest is particularly to show solidarity with Lateef Johar, a 22 year-old Baloch student and activist who has been on a hunger strike unto death in front of the Karachi Press Club for the past two weeks. Johar is demanding the Pakistani state to release Zahid Baloch, the chairman of the Baloch Student Organization Azad. Baloch was abducted on March 18th of this year from Quetta by the Pakistani security forces.
Zahid Baloch is one of 20,000 people from Balochistan who have been abducted by the Pakistani secret services in the past 10 years. In recent months, mass graves have been found in Balochistan, filled with the remains of hundreds of these disappeared persons. Mutilated and tortured bodies of Baloch men are regularly discovered in desolated areas and on the side of highways all across Balochistan.
Lateef Johar, through his hunger strike unto death, is appealing to the international community, human rights organizations, writers, journalists, academics, and all the other defenders of human rights to lend their moral support to his action and put pressure on the Pakistani government to release Zahid Baloch and all the other kidnapped persons.
We invite you all to join us and show solidarity with Lateef Johar and bring attention to the severe human rights violations in Balochistan.
Coordinator of the International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons – Canada
( 604) 364-5502
Journalist and writer.
Please consult the following articles for more information on Balochistan, its history since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the past and the latest military operations, and the case of the missing persons.
Interview with Lateef Johar Baloch
The Missing Persons of Balochistan: http://collateraldamagemagazine.net/2013/11/04/the-missing-persons-of-baluchistan/
“Our exploitation began the day when our land was conquered”
“Justice delayed is justice denied”
Baluchistan in Crisis:
“When it comes to Balochistan, people in Punjab are in denial”