New international protests for the release of the “Hunza 5” and other progressive activists victim of the Pakistan Antiterrorist Act
27 June 2012
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Some news from the 20–27 June, 2012, International week of protests in front of Pakistani representations abroad for the release of Baba Jan and his comrades, for the end of the use of torture and Antiterrorist Act against TUs and social movements.


 Japan

Protest in front of Pakistani embassy in Tokyo

June 27th, 2012, Asian Solidarity School of Japan did solidarity action with Hunza 5 and Faisalabad 9 in front of the Pakistan embassy in Tokyo.

Kenji Kunitomi spoke to second secretary of the Pakistan embassy in Japan, Mr. Nadiem Bhapti inside a room of the embassy and demanded all the political prisoner immdiately. He welcomed our message and promised it to pass Pakistan government.

Comment from the Free Baba Jan campaign: We thank our Japanese comrades who organised this very important action. This action is significant in view of the level of Japanese development aid to projects in Gilgit-Baltistan and the huge volume of Japanese tourists visiting the region.

***

Open letter from the Asian Solidarity School of Japan

Free ‘Hunza 5’, Free Baba Jan,
Free ‘Faisalabad 9’
Justice for all the Political Prisoners In Pakistan

Urgent letter to Mr, Noor Muhammad JADMANI, the ambassador extraordinary of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Japan

Asian Solidarity School of Japan
1-50-4-103, Hatsudai, Shibuya-ku Tokyo, 151-0061, Japan
Tel 03-3372-9401 Fax 03-3372-9402

2012 June 27

We have been very much concerned about situation of human rights in your country.

We know following information from our friends in Pakistan who have devoted themselves in trade union movements, democratic movements and human rights movement.

Ameer Khan, Amir Ali, Baba Jan, Ifthilar Hussain, and Rashid Minhas are political activists fighting for democratic rights of working people in Hunza Valley, who have been arrested, beaten, and tortured in custody and now imprisoned in Gilgit-Baltistan,

Their lives are imminent danger, Five activists(Hunza Five) should be hospitalized for urgent treatment for the injuries inflicted during their beatings and tortures by the police and military intelligence officers. Namely Baba Jan who was heavily injured by violent torture by military intelligence. They heve been left without proper medical attention and no access to lawyers and family members.

Why they were arrested and imprisoned for more than ten months? What is their crime? They are not terrorists.

They have been involved in activities supporting the victims of huge landslide disaster affecting the Attabal Lake region in the Hunza Valley on 4 January 2010. 6,000 people have been displaced and further 25,000 people stranded as a result of the disaster.

People affected by the disaster demonstrated demanding financial compensation on August 11 last year. But the reaction of regional authorities was to kill two persons who join the demonstration.

The ‘Hunza Five’ have been supporting the demands of people affected and mobilizing national attention for the forgotten victims. Instead of responding to their concerns, the regional authorities have reacted by imprisoning them on the false charges, torturing them and threatening their lives.

We demand to release Baba Jan and ‘Hunza 5’ immediately.

And also we have been concerned about very harsh oppression and punishment for trade union activists in Faisalabad.

Textile workers union in Faisalabad organized strike demanding to increase minimum wage in July 2010, It was legitimate because the demands of union was to fulfill the government’s explanation of annual budget in the parliament to increase basic wage the standard of factory workers. But bosses of textile companies denied the demand, hiring groups of gang, and attacking strike-workers by gun. Some of trade unionists were injured by the conflict.

After the strike, 4 leaders of the union were arrested in July 2010, and 2 leaders also arrested 4 months later..According to the police authority, arrested workers are terrorists because they set fire in a factory during strike struggle, But this was completely false.

If those striking workers set fire a factory, why was it possible to restart production at the factory just after 3 days the strike?

But these six trade unionists were sentenced totally 491 years(!) in jail for anti-terrorist acts. And the other 3 trade unionists in Faisalabad also arrested this year on same case.

They are not terrorists but trade union leaders who have been involved in legitimate activities to defend living conditions and rights of workers and their families.

We demand to release these 9 workers from jail immediately.

We sincerely ask the Pakistani ambassador in Japan to inform our message to the government of Pakistan.

With best regard

Asian Solidarity School of Japan


 Germany

Protest in front of Pakistani consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, similar plan for Berlin!

Please see below a report from campaign supporters in Frankfurt, giving details of their protest at the Pakistani consulate in Frankfurt, Germany.

Today we had a small demonstration in front of the Pakistani consulate in Frankfurt. We went into the building, had a long dispute on the handing over of our letter of protest and the open letter while some comrades were demonstrating in front of the building. The activity lasted only for one hour, but a lot of Pakistani people that came by took our leaflets, so we hope, that there will be a certain effect.

Finally (after 40 minutes of disputing in the consulate) the deputy consul accepted to receive our two documents and he signed that he received them.

A similar action will hopefully take place in Berlin at the embassy in the next days.

Farooq, can you tell me how we can get in touch with Pakistani people in the Frankfurt area that are at least sympathetic to TU-activity? We would like to involve them in similar actions in the future. That would be much more effective of course.

comradely
Jakob


France

See (in French) on ESSF (article 25703): Olivier Besancenot, Alain Krivine (ancien député européen), Christine Poupin, Philippe Poutou, Lettre à l’ambassadeur du Pakistan à Paris pour la libération de Baba Jan et de ses compagnons, contre la criminalisation des mouvements sociaux sous les juridictions antiterroristes
http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25703


 Australia

Free Baba Jan, a video produced by Green Left TV Australia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24q3Ezrmqt0

http://links.org.au/node/2924

For 9 months, Baba Jan Hunzai and 4 fellow activists have languished in Pakistani jails, charged with terrorism offences, and suffered torture. Their crime? Organising the oppressed local community to struggle for compensation, after their villages were submerged by a climate-change induced landslide.

Protest at the Pakistan embassy in your country. Join Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali in signing the petition to free Baba Jan and the Hunza 5 www.ipetitions.com/petition/free-baba-jan.

Film produced by Green Left TV, subscribe to the You Tube channel for activist videos. Contact us at GreenLeftTV gmail.com, www.facebook.com/GreenLeftTV, www.greenleft.org.au, Twitter: @GreenLeftTV

***

Melbourne

Melbourne activists have organised a solidarity rally, calling for the release of Baba Jan and the Hunza 5.

Wednesday 27 June at 12:30pm
Cnr Bourke and Swanston Streets

***

Australia Asia Worker Links (AAWL) (http://aawl.org.au/) has reported regularly on the Baba Jan and other victims of the Antiterrorist Act.


 Sri Lanka

The protest in solidarity with the ’Hunza Five’ on Tuesday 26 June, organised by the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP — Sri Lanka section of the Fourth International) was a resounding success.

More than 30 activists, including Western Provincial Councillor Waruna Deepthi Rajapakse of the Frontline Socialist Party, representing political organisations, trade unions and human rights organisations participated in the campaign outside the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo.

Photo credit: Dharmasiri Lankapeli

A large banner with the message “Protect the Lives and Release the”Hunza Five“— Free Baba Jan and other Labour Party Pakistan activists” was displayed opposite the chancery building, while several placards were carried.

There was a heavy police presence, with high ranking officers observing the protest, but there was no obstruction or harassment of the protestors.

A petition addressed to the President of Pakistan was submitted through the High Commissioner by General-Secretary of the NSSP, Vickramabahu Karunarathne, and received by a senior official of the mission.

The appeal was signed by political leaders from the Nava Sama Samaja Party, Democratic Peoples Front (Mano Ganesan), Frontline Socialist Party (Pubudu Jayagoda) and United Socialist Party (Siritunga Jayasuriya) among others; trade unionists including Anton Marcus (Free Trade Zone General Services Employees Union); Linus Jayatileka and Saranapala Silva (United Federation of Labour); Niel Wijethilake (United General Employees Union); Dharmasiri Lankapeli (Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions); and human rights defenders Nimalka Fernando (International Movement against Discrimination and all forms of Racism) and Brito Fernando (Right to Life).

The signatories demanded that the Government of Pakistan:

* Protect the lives and human rights of the Hunza Five!
* Drop the false charges against the Hunza Five!
* Release immediately the Hunza Five!
* Pay fair compensation to, and deliver the needs of, the Attabad landslide victims!

****

Here is the solidarity call from Sri Lanka:

PROTECT THE LIVES AND RELEASE THE ‘HUNZA FIVE’!

Ameer Khan, Amir Ali, Baba Jan, Ifthikar Hussain and Rashid Minhas (‘Hunza Five’) are five political activists of the Labour Party of Pakistan from the Hunza valley, who have been arrested, beaten and tortured in custody, and are currently imprisoned in Gilgit jail in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Their lives are in imminent danger as the authorities have no concern for their safety and protection from death threats and violence within the prison. In fact, the ‘Hunza

Five’ should be hospitalized for urgent treatment for the injuries inflicted during their beatings and torture by the police and military intelligence officers (most recently on 28 April 2012), instead of being incarcerated with no proper medical attention, and no access to lawyers and family members.

What is this crime for which they have been imprisoned? It is to have supported the victims of forced displacement on account of the landslide affecting the Attabad Lake region in the Hunza valley on 4 January 2010; and to have protested against the police killing of two victims of the disaster during a demonstration against official inaction and for financial compensation on 11 August 2011.

6,000 people have been displaced and a further 25,000 people have been stranded as a result of an environmental disaster caused by deforestation, soil erosion and climate change. The ‘Hunza Five’ have been raising their voices and mobilizing national attention for the forgotten victims and affected persons. Instead of responding to their concerns, the authorities have reacted by imprisoning them on false charges, torturing them, and threatening their lives.

In this international week (20-27 June 2012) of solidarity with Ameer Khan, Amir Ali, Baba Jan, Ifthikar Hussain and Rashid Minhas, when pickets and demonstrations have been and are taking place in cities across the world, in addition to ongoing protests within Pakistan, we the undersigned political organizations, trade unions, social associations and human rights defenders in Sri Lanka demand that the Government of Pakistan:

Protect the lives and human rights of the Hunza Five!
Drop the false charges against the Hunza Five!
Release immediately the Hunza Five!
Pay fair compensation to, and deliver the needs of, the Attabad landslide victims!

Sent to

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
President’s Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 9207458

(Copies to)

Hon. Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN

Hon. Rehman Malik
Minister for Interior
R Block Pak Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 9202624

Ministry of Human Rights
NAB Building
Ata-Turk Avenue
G-5/2, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +9251-9204108


 USA

UNAC (United National Antiwar Coalition), the national antiwar coalition in the U.S. has called antiwar/social justice actions in some 27 U.S. cities during the week of June 24 to July 1.

Socialist Action comrades in several cities are leading these protests. We will make sure that the issues you raise on civil liberties and the use of Anti-Terrorism legislation to attack and brutalize protestors and labor activists is an important part of our participation.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, we have scheduled a protest at the U.S. Federal Building in Oakland, California on Friday, June 29 at 5 PM. We will be sure to state our solidarity with the LPP comrades and all victims of government terror in Pakistan.

Solidarity comrades! Your struggle is ours! An injury to one is an injury to all!

Comradely,

Jeff Mackler, National Secretary
Socialist Action

***

See alo, previously posted, from Solidarity (USA), on ESSF (article 25148), Pakistan: New protests at the treatment of Baba Jan and his comrades jailed in Gilgit-Baltistan :
http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25148


 Denmark

See recently posted, on ESSF (article 25625), Christian Juhl (Member of Parliament, Pakistan: Christian Juhl, Member of Parliament in Denmark, supports the campaign to free Baba Jan:
http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25625


 Indonesia

Solidarity to Free Baba Jan, Hunza and Faisalabad political prisoners, from Jakarta

The 24th May 2012, more than fifty workers and pro democracy activists from Joint Labor Secretariat (Sekber Buruh) — Greater Jakarta paid visit to Ambassador of Pakistan, Mr. Sanaullah, in Jalan Mega Kuningan Barat Blok E.3.9 Kav. 5-8, Jakarta, Indonesia. Workers and activists with posters, banner, and mostly red t-shirts came to demand the release of Baba Jan and all Hunza and Faisalabad Political Prisoners. One of the staffs of the Embassy, who didn’t want to mention his name, ‘welcomed’ and received a protest letter from Sekber Buruh and promised to deliver the demands to the Ambassador and Pakistan government. Unfortunately he didn’t want to say it out loud in front of the loudspeaker, as he considered it as improper things to do.

Workers from Sekber Buruh, for the first time since it’s established, shown their Internationale spirit in practice. Sekber Buruh committed to continue the solidarity work until all political prisoners in Pakistan release.

See recently posted, on ESSF (article 25625), Sekber Buruh Jabodetabek, Free Baba Jan and All Hunza and Faisalabad 9 Political Prisoners; Democracy and Welfare to all Pakistani People!:
http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25310

See video on Free Baba Jan website:
http://freebabajan.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/337/


 India

See recently posted, on ESSF (article 25183), NTUI, Free Baba Jan and All Hunza and Faisalabad 9 Political Prisoners; Democracy and Welfare to all Pakistani People!:
http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25183


For a previous presentation of the international campaign, see on ESSF (article 25491), Pierre Rousset & Danielle Sabai, Call for an international week of action, 20-27 June 2012, for the release of Baba Jan and his comrades
http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25491


Online 28 June 2012
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