Finally, after one year and nine days, Baba Jan, organiser of Progressive Youth Front Ggilgit-Baltistan, federal youth secretary of Labour Party Pakistan, walked free from Jutial sub-jail, Gilgit City.
Congratulations to all the supporters of the campaign for the release of the Hunza Five and securing justice for the affectees of the Attabad Lake disaster.
Now, comrades Ameer Khan and Iftikhar Hussain remain in jail. The bail hearing for Ameer Khan is scheduled for September 20, 2012. The legal team defending the Hunza Five will also re-submit the bail application for Iftikhar Hussain, which was rejected last year by the Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court.
The achievement of this crucial milestone takes us one step closer to our goals:
1. Dropping of all charges against the Hunza Five
2. Publication of the GB government’s own public enquiry into the Aliabad Tragedy of August 11, 2012
3. Prosecution of the civil administration and police of Aliabad involved in the murder by the police in broad daylight of unarmed protesters Sher Afzal Baig and his father Sher Ullah Baig.
Let us also recall that the local administration did not hesitate to use one final cheap trick to detain Baba Jan for an extra 48 hours after the Gilgit-Baltistan Anti-Terrorism Court finally accepted the bail petition on Friday, September 14, 2012. When Baba Jan’s lawyers went to Jutial sub-jail from the court to complete the paperwork for his physical release, the jail officials claimed that the file with the previous release orders (Baba Jan was granted once before on June 26, 2012, before fresh charges were brought against) could not be found.
A big vote of appreciation for the legal team who have pursued the cases of the Hunza Five on pro-bono basis for more than a year and whose legal acumen and experience of dealing with our colonial judicial system has finally started to bear fruit.