Pakistan
21.10.02
Urgent Interventions

Pakistan: further violence related to the construction of the Mangla-Dam extension

ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS CONCERN
Case PAK 151002.1 ESCRC
Follow-up to Case PAK 151002 ESCRC


The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Pakistan.


Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Asian Human Right Commission (AHRC), a member of the OMCT network, of a police assault against peaceful protestors of a student organisation and their arrest on October 15 2002, in Muzzaffarabad, the capital city of Pakistani-administrated Kashmir. Moreover, the ill-treatment of a professor by the police is reported to have occurred on October 16 2002 in the same city.

According to the information received, on October 15 2002, protestors of the Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) who were holding a peaceful march in Muzaffarabad were attacked by the police with tear gas and batons. It is reported that several demonstrators were injured as a result, and that the police arrested at least 15 of them and took them to the city police station, where no one has been allowed to visit them. The detainees who were injured, including Mr. Shujaat Ali Kazmin, the president of JKNSF, have allegedly been denied medical treatment.

According to the information received, the JKNSF, an organisation of Pakistani-administrated Kashmir was protesting against the extension of the Mangla Dam that will displace 90,000 to 100,000 people. JNSK was also reportedly demanding the release of 13 political activists who were assaulted and arrested by the police on September 30 2002, during a protest organized by the Anti-Mangla Dam Extension Committee.

Moreover, it is reported that at 6:00 am on October 16 2002, a group of 50 policemen raided the house of Professor Khaleeque, a prominent educator and intellectual of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, without arrest and search warrants. The police allegedly insulted him, ill-treated his family members and arrested his son, Mr. Shujaat Tatari, a politically active member of JKNSF.


Background information
It is reported that the dam that is to be extended was constructed under the first military dictator of Pakistan, Gen. Ayyub Khan, on the disputed territory of Jammu Kashmir between 1960 and 1967. According to the information received, 40 years later, some 10 thousand families out of those who were evicted and displaced for the building of the dam are still displaced. The extension of the dam would reportedly cause the further eviction of 90’000 to 100’000 people, whose rehabilitation has not being arranged before the extension work is to be started.

According to the information received, the Government proposed a compensation plan for the affected people, but the plan was rejected by the Anti-Dam Extension Committee on the grounds that the compensation was insufficient. Moreover, it is reported that Pakistani Government has ignored all appeals and requests and announced the inauguration of the project unilaterally on 30th September 2002. In reaction, JKNAP and JKNSF, along with the Anti-Dam Committee, announced the protest march on 30th September 2002.

Action Requested

Please write to the Pakistani authorities urging them to:

i. order the immediate release of the persons detained in connection with these events, in the absence of valid legal charges or, if such charges exist, bring them before an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;

ii. guarantee an immediate investigation into the circumstances of these events, identify those responsible, bring them before a competent and impartial civil tribunal and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;

iii. stop the building of an extension to the dam until a rehabilitation plan has been agreed for the displaced people;

iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


Addresses

· General Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Prime Minister House, Islamabad, Pakistan, Email: CE@pak.gov.pk, Fax: +92-51-9201893 / +92-51-9201835 / +92-51-9204632 / + 92 51 922 4768

. Mr. Khalid Ranjha, The Federal Minister, Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights, S-Block, Pak Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan, Email: molaw1@comsats.net.pk, Fax: +92-51-9202628


Geneva, October 21, 2002

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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