PAKISTAN: A man who was disappeared twice and severely tortured has finally appeared in court
Murad Khan Marri, 45, who was held incommunicado on two occasions, first, for a period of nine months after he was arrested by the Frontier Corp (FC), for the murder of Chinese engineers, holding Indian currency and keeping explosive material, has again been disappeared while in the custody of FC. He has now been produced in an anti terrorist court (ATC) in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.
The eye witnesses, mainly other prisoners booked in cases of terrorism, say that he appeared seriously weakened and he could not walk properly. The officials of the Frontier Corp (FC) had to carry him into the hearing. He was produced before Mr. Gias Khilji, a judge of the ATC and after taking a date for next hearing he was quickly shifted to the ATF jail, Quetta, where persons suspected of terrorism are held.
Please see below the AHRC statement and Urgent Appeal which reported his first disappearance:
The prisoners in the ATF jail are constantly under supervision of the Anti Terrorist Force (ATF) during the trial so that they cannot change the confessional statements taken during the torture and intimidation. The ATF jail is allegedly notorious for torture particularly the Baloch nationalists. Authorities at the jail do not allow the prisoners to meet their family members without the permission from the ATF.
The Paramilitary forces and state intelligence agencies in the province of Balochistan, where there is strong movement for greater autonomy on their natural resources and undiluted political power, are behaving like supra-constitutional forces to deal the law and the people. It is very evident and even, chief minister and members of his cabinet openly criticize the behaviour of the law enforcement agencies particularly the Para-military forces for illegal arrest and disappearances.
The government and the higher judiciary has also failed to deal with the issue of arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearances by the state intelligence agencies. In a way the higher courts, which claim themselves as the independent judiciary, showed their apathy before the Para-military forces and state intelligence agencies on their supra-constitutional activities for following the rule of law.
Pakistan is a country where there is no longer a military government, civilian rule was re-established two and a half years ago and judiciary is allowed without any hindrance to perform its constitutional duties. However, the state intelligence agencies are so independent in their performance that they crush the law under their boots.
The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the federal and provincial governments and the higher judiciary to deal seriously the issue of disappearances and keeping persons incommunicado in the military torture cells. The government must realise the nefarious design in the name of national security and the defense of Pakistan to involve the Baloch people in anti Pakistan activities. In their present dealings with the disappearance issue the government and judiciary are attempting to misguide the international community and UN human rights bodies that they are working on the issue.
The AHRC further urges the government to initiate the enquiry into the disappearance of Mr. Murad Khan Marri after his recovery from his first disappearance and his alleged involvement in the false cases of murdering Chinese engineers and carrying Indian currency.