Solidarity with the Guardian and Peter Tatchell

On Cif yesterday Peter Tatchell highlighted the Pakistani army’s torture and murder of Baloch prisoners:

Four Baloch prisoners have been burned alive in hot coal tar by the Pakistan army during military operations in annexed and occupied Balochistan, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

Last week the AHRC received confirmation that Pakistani soldiers arrested four people on April 5 2008, in the Dera Bugti district of Balochistan, and subjected them to torture. They were asked to identify local supporters of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). After failing to get any names from them, the victims were immersed in scolding hot coal tar. Three of the men were literally boiled and burned to death. A fourth died later from his injuries.

Over the last few years of Pakistani attacks on Balochistan, the AHRC reports that about 3,000 people have died, around 200,000 have been displaced, and more than 4,000 people have been arrested by the police, army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The AHRC is organising an urgent action appeal to the government of Pakistan, calling on it to investigate the killing of civilians and to halt military operations in Balochistan. Click here to send an automated letter to key Pakistani leaders.

Or you can email your own, personalised appeal, direct to the Pakistani prime minister, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, at

Now apparently the Pakistan government have demanded that the Guardian take his piece down or publish an apology and correction. It seems what the Pakistan government objects to is not the story about its army burning people alive but Tatchell’s explanation of how Pakistan invaded and occupied Balochistan.

The Pakistani government did not object to my report about its army burning alive four prisoners. What it wanted censored was my statements about Pakistan invading, annexing and occupying Balochistan. They claim the people of Balochistan voted to be part of Pakistan. Not true. In fact, Pakistan has refused a referendum on independence. It is denying the people of Balochistan a free vote – because it knows they are likely to vote for independence.

Please spread this story as far as you can. It will really embarrass the Pakistani leaders.

Via Brett Lock and Peter Tatchell.

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