Amnesty International Urges Pakistan Government to Stop Unlawful Killings in Balochistan

Press Release
June 6, 2011

Amnesty International Urges Pakistan Government to Stop Unlawful Killings in Balochistan

Amnesty International Urges Pakistan Government to Stop Unlawful Killings in Balochistan

Contact: AIUSA media relations, 202-509-8194

(Washington, D.C.) – Amnesty International strongly condemns the killing of Professor Saba Dashtiyari and calls on the Pakistan government to bring his killers to justice. Professor Saba Dashtiyari succumbed to his injuries after being shot repeatedly by unidentified gunmen June 1 on Sariab Road in Quetta while on his way home.

Professor Dashtiyari was a renowned intellectual, writer and poet and a professor at the University of Balochistan in the province’s capital. He was the author of several books on Baloch literature and culture and a scholar in Islamic studies. Over the past few years, he reportedly backed the call for resorting to arms for an independent Balochistan.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for Dashtiyari’s killing, though Baloch groups have accused the Pakistani security forces, notably the Frontier Corps, of carrying out his killing.

Amnesty International reminds the government of Pakistan of its legal obligation under international law to respect the right to life in all circumstances. The organization calls on the Pakistan authorities to ensure an independent, impartial, transparent and thorough investigation into the incident and to bring all those suspected of involvement in his killing, including any persons with command responsibility, to justice in fair trials and without the imposition of the death penalty.

The organization also calls on the Pakistan government to take urgent steps to end killings and abductions in Balochistan, which have increased at an alarming rate during the past year, resulting in the deaths of over 150 political activists, journalists, lawyers and students.

All cases should be investigated, all those suspected of responsibility be prosecuted and the families of victims should be compensated. Professor Dashtiyari’s family should be awarded reparations in accordance with international standards. The government should also investigate all other alleged human rights abuses, including all enforced disappearances recorded by the judicial Commission of Inquiry for Missing Persons.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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For more information, please visit: www.amnestyusa.org.