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Solidarity, USA writes to the Pakistani Embassy in Washington

May 10, 2012

May 8, 2012

Embassy of Pakistan

3517 International Court NW

Washington DC 20008

Faxed to: 202-686-1534

We have been informed by the Labour Party of Pakistan that Baba Jan, Iftikhar Ahmed and three other activists in the Gilgit district jail were severely beaten and tortured by Police and Frontier Constabulary in the early morning of April 28, 2012. We understand that they are in need of medical treatment but, further, that their families have not been allowed to visit them.

We are especially concerned for the fate of Baba Jan, who was taken from the Gilgit district jail by security personnel and transported to an unknown place.

We protest against this violent mistreatment, which should be unacceptable in a democratic Pakistan. We request information about their legal and health status. We protest their isolation from their family and friends. We request that that you pass on to your government our urgent message that Baba Jan and all other activists be immediately released from custody.

In an era where many around the world are deeply concerned by the crisis of climate change, people will be following the situation of Baba Jan and his fellow activists. The reality is that they have been imprisoned for their leadership roles in working with poor local residents who are demanding compensation for the devastating 2010 landslide and flood in the Hunza Valley.

No one should be imprisoned and tortured for highlighting the plight of villagers who have lost homes and livelihood because of climate change—indeed such leaders are heroes!

We look forward to receiving a response from your office, letting us know that our concerns have been addressed and that Baba Jan and the activists have been released from custody the charges dropped.

Very truly yours,

The National Committee of Solidarity (U.S.A.)

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Eds: Readers can find more information on Solidarity USA  here: http://www.solidarity-us.org/

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