Detained for four years without charges: Family sit-in for man's release from intelligence agencies -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Detained for four years without charges: Family sit-in for man’s release from intelligence agencies

By Azizullah Khan
QUETTA, September 16 2005: Women and children staged a sit-in outside the Baldia building when police and para-military forces prevented them from protesting outside the governor’s house on Thursday September15.

According to reports, the police locked the gate of the Baldia building and called the Frontier Corps for assistance. About 30 to 40 women and children wanted to demonstrate outside the governor’s house for the release of a tailor, Ali Asghar Bangulzai, who was allegedly in the custody of intelligence agencies.

Bangulzai’s wife said that her husband was picked up nearly four years ago and still had not been produced in a court of law nor had he been handed over to the police for legal proceedings. She appealed to General Musharraf to have her spouse released, as there was no charge against him.

Dr Abdul Hai, the National Party leader, and Mengal Sajid Tareen, the Balochistan National Party leader, addressed the protestors and vehemently criticised the government for its poor policies, saying the military officials dominated the government, while elected representatives had no say in the government. They said it was a violation of law because people were rounded up without following legal procedure.

According to reports, Bangulzai’s family and supporters had gone on a hunger strike over the past 70 days demanding the release of Ali Asghar Bangulzai, adding that his eight children had been observing a token hunger strike from the last 35 days but the government had done nothing to address their demand.

The report stated that the Baloch Nationalist Party and the Baloch student organisation had claimed several times that their leaders and workers had been illegally picked up by intelligence officials and were not produced in the court for months or even years. BNP Senator Sana Baloch said several political workers and students leaders had been illegally arrested in Balochistan, adding that some were still missing.

Bangulzai’s sons and daughters observing hunger strike include Nisar Ahmad, 5, Mir Hazar Khan, 7, Zarjan bibi, 9, and Ghulam Rabani, 12.

Bangulzai’s relative, Nasrullah, said the children observed a 9-hour strike every day and the one of his daughters had developed kidney problems. He said Bangulzai’s family and supporters had planned more protests this month onwards, adding that the children would observe a hunger strike from September 20 till they die, to urge the government to release their father.

Bangulzai’s wife said the family faced problems, as the children had quit school and were running pillar to post for food and medicine.
Source: Daily Times