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Scores killed and disappeared in Balochistan in July, according to new report

AT LEAST 36 people were disappeared and 27 murdered in Pakistan’s Balochistan region last month, including four members of the same family, according to a new report.

Many were killed and abducted by state and paramilitary forces, the Human Rights Council of Balochistan alleged, detailing the incidents.

“In the month of July, many previously disappeared persons were found dead in different parts of Balochistan,” including the mutilated bodies of Ibrahem Mohammad and Noorullah Bakhtyar, the report said.

Family members of those missing have maintained a protest camp in front of the Quetta Press Club in the regional capital for more than a decade. 

The camp was established after the disappearance of Dr Deen Muhammad, who was taken by "unknown men" in June 2009.

Many believe that he was abducted by Pakistani security forces fighting Balochi separatists, a conflict which has seen more than 5,000 people disappeared in the country’s south-western region.

Balochi-rights activists have led a decades-long struggle for cultural and economic rights and greater political autonomy.

But large numbers of dissidents have been subjected to torture,  “disappearance” and murder, with others forced into exile.

Earlier this year, Balochi Times journalist Sajid Hussain was found dead in a Swedish river, eight years after he had been forced to flee Pakistan. The finger of suspicion was pointed at Pakistani intelligence agents.

In June, the Balochistan National Party (BNP) resigned from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling parliamentary bloc in protest at its failure to address issues relating to the disappearances.

BNP leader Akhtar Mengal handed the government a list of more than 5,000 missing people. While some had been found and returned to their families, another 1,800 had since vanished.

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