Sri Lanka: Picket of Pakistan High Commission in Colombo on Wed 26th of June
Here is the solidarity call from Sri Lanka:
PROTECT THE LIVES AND RELEASE THE ‘HUNZA FIVE’!
Ameer Khan, Amir Ali, Baba Jan, Ifthikar Hussain and Rashid Minhas (‘Hunza Five’) are five political activists of the Labour Party of Pakistan from the Hunza valley, who have been arrested, beaten and tortured in custody, and are currently imprisoned in Gilgit jail in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Their lives are in imminent danger as the authorities have no concern for their safety and protection from death threats and violence within the prison. In fact, the ‘Hunza
Five’ should be hospitalized for urgent treatment for the injuries inflicted during their beatings and torture by the police and military intelligence officers (most recently on 28 April 2012), instead of being incarcerated with no proper medical attention, and no access to lawyers and family members.
What is this crime for which they have been imprisoned? It is to have supported the victims of forced displacement on account of the landslide affecting the Attabad Lake region in the Hunza valley on 4 January 2010; and to have protested against the police killing of two victims of the disaster during a demonstration against official inaction and for financial compensation on 11 August 2011.
6,000 people have been displaced and a further 25,000 people have been stranded as a result of an environmental disaster caused by deforestation, soil erosion and climate change. The ‘Hunza Five’ have been raising their voices and mobilizing national attention for the forgotten victims and affected persons. Instead of responding to their concerns, the authorities have reacted by imprisoning them on false charges, torturing them, and threatening their lives.
In this international week (20-27 June 2012) of solidarity with Ameer Khan, Amir Ali, Baba Jan, Ifthikar Hussain and Rashid Minhas, when pickets and demonstrations have been and are taking place in cities across the world, in addition to ongoing protests within Pakistan, we the undersigned political organizations, trade unions, social associations and human rights defenders in Sri Lanka demand that the Government of Pakistan:
- Protect the lives and human rights of the Hunza Five!
- Drop the false charges against the Hunza Five!
- Release immediately the Hunza Five!
- Pay fair compensation to, and deliver the needs of, the Attabad landslide victims!
Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
Fax: +92 51 9207458
Hon. Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House
Hon. Rehman Malik
Minister for Interior
R Block Pak Secretariat
Fax: +92 51 9202624
Ministry of Human Rights