Thu, 07 Jul 2022

Geneva [Switzerland], June 23 (ANI): During the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Asif Panwhar, a member of the World Sindhi Congress (WSC) called on the Council to commission an inquiry on gross human rights violations of Sindhi people in Pakistan and urged to take action to protect their right of peaceful assembly and association.

On 17th June, during the UNHRC session, Panhwar presented the cases of arrests against peaceful participants.

The WSC member highlighted how those who were paying tribute to GM Syed, the founder of Sindhi nationalist movement, on his 27th death anniversary were being harassed by the Pakistani police.

"We would like to bring to your notice, the onslaught of the freedom of peaceful assembly and association of Sindhi people in Pakistan. On April 25, 2022 police rangers and agencies man-handled and humiliated hundreds of people including women and children who were going to pay tributes to GM Syed," he said.

He noted that FIR was registered against 190 persons under sedition and terrorism charges and 87 people were arrested including 25 women. The cases of the arrested are being tried in the anti-terrorist courts, Panhwar added.

According to the human rights activists, a crackdown happened against many people when they held a peaceful protest for environmental justice and to save the lands of the indigenous communities illegally occupied by Bahrai town Karachi (Islamabad-based privately owned real-estate development company). He spoke about the forced acquisition of lands and evictions.

He said that during this crackdown in June 2021, hundreds were arrested and cases were registered under sedition and terrorism charges. The WSC member also stated that the Sindhi nationalist leader Aslam Khairpuri was also arrested and tried under sedition and terrorism charges.

The activist requested the UNHRC to press upon Pakistan to stop these grave violations of Sindhi People.

The WSC member expressed concern over the ongoing situation and said, "Sadly this has become a norm in Pakistan to harass and curb the peaceful democratic rise movement of Sindhi people. We request you to commission an inquiry on these gross human rights violations and take action to protect the rights of the Sindhi people for peaceful assembly and association." (ANI)

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