Update: The four Baloch women forcibly disappeared by paramilitary FC personnel yesterday were handed over to the civilian Levies force earlier today. Awaran’s Levies officials released a photo of the women, claiming they were arrested for possession of arms and ammunition.
Pakistan’s security forces have reportedly whisked away at least four Baloch women from Balochistan’s Awaran district since yesterday.
Amnesty International’s South Asia Researcher Rabia Mehmood confirmed she had received reports that four women – Sakina, Sayad Bibi, Nazal and Hameeda — had been forcibly picked up from different parts of the insurgency-hit Awaran district.
Getting reports about four Baloch women getting forcibly picked up from diff parts of Awaran. Women: Sakina, Sayad Bibi, Nazal, Hameeda. — Sakina (left) was forced into displacement due to conflict previously. pic.twitter.com/ImbN8H8u3B
— Rabia Mehmood – رابعہ (@Rabail26) November 30, 2019
The Baloch Human Rights Organization (BHRO), a Balochistan-based human rights watchdog monitoring cases of enforced disappearances in the region, also reported the incident on its Twitter handle.
Forces forcibly disappeared 2 women Sayed Bibi &Bibi Sakina from Mashi & Harooni Dan, Awaran. Earlier this week, Sakina’s teenage son Sajid & Pervaiz was also abducted & thr whereabouts r unknown. @ShireenMazari1 must take steps for thr safe return & hold perpetrators accountable pic.twitter.com/KeZ1iq6bfh
— HR Council of Balochistan (@HRCBalochistan) November 29, 2019
Sakina and Sayad Bibi were picked up yesterday afternoon from Harooni Dann and Mashi areas, respectively.
Eyewitnesses, who didn’t want to be named, said Sakina was beaten up before being dragged to a military vehicle. On November 25, paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel had taken away Sakina’s teenaged son – Sajid — and another young relative, Parvez. They are all still missing.
In a separate raid last night, Hameeda daughter of Dilbod Sajidi and Nazal wife of Asadullah Sajidi were whisked away from Pirandar Zelag area of the same district.
Last night, forces forcibly disappeared 2 more women from Pirandar Zelag area of Awaran, Balochistan. The victims are identified as Hameeda d/o Mir Dilbod Sajidi & Nazal w/o Mir Asadullah Sajidi. We demand their immediate & safe release
— HR Council of Balochistan (@HRCBalochistan) November 30, 2019
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, over 5,000 Baloch have been forcibly disappeared since 2001 when Pakistan military launched its counter-insurgency operations in Balochistan to curb a separatist Baloch insurgency. Local groups and nationalist organizations claim the number of Baloch missing persons is as high as 20,000.
Since 2017, an increasing number of cases involving the forcible disappearance of women and children have been reported by local and international human rights groups. Balochistan Times recently published a detailed report on how Baloch women are being used as a leverage to force the family’s politically-active men into surrender.