Fear and loathing in Gilgit
The news this morning is that Baba Jan passed the night safely in Jutial Jail and will soon be produced in court for the scheduled bail hearing.
He may be presented before the Anti-Terrorism Court by the state, asking for further judicial remand in the new ATA charges.
Baba Jan’s lawyers and comrades are determined to resist any move to hand over custody of Baba Jan to the police or the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and will demand that Baba Jan be questioned by the JIT in Jutial Jail. His supporters, esp. his family, are said to be extremely worried that giving physical custody of Baba Jan to the crime police or the JIT will inevitably lead to further torture. Given the two previous instances, in Oct 2011 and April/May 2012, and the fact that the Anti-Terrorism Act admits confessions of the accused as evidence and that torture is an accepted means of “investigation” in our law enforcement paradigm, this is a well-founded fear. Let us not forget that the Joint Investigation Team is composed of police and intelligence agents and that it was representatives of the same establishments that abducted and tortured Baba Jan and his comrades in violation of judicial remand.
Comrades in Gilgit are unanimous in their assessment that now that the ruling clique of the region know that their attempts to manipulate the judicial system to pressurise the Hunza Five have almost failed, they are extremely fearful about what will happen when they are at liberty, free to talk of their experiences and expose the reality of the collaborationist, anti-people elite to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.