Baloch protesters call off sit-in; to ‘take out rally on 27th’
ISLAMABAD: (Suno News) Baloch protesters on Tuesday called off their sit-in that was organised by Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) outside National Press Club (NPC) against enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings since December 22, 2023.
A day earlier, the NPC had written a letter to the Islamabad police seeking removal of the sit-in. however, the request was later withdrawn by the NPC following severe criticism from different segments of the society. The NPC had requested early relocation of the protesters to a different location, saying that the press club and residents and the business community are facing difficulties due to the protest camp.
In reply to the letter, one of the protest organisers, Dr Mahrang Baloch, had expressed sadness, saying that the media community and the journalists “have an obligation to stand with people whose voices are neglected”.
The demonstrators were under severe pressure to vacate the camp, she had added while addressing a press conference. She had said, “We are being harassed and threatened, with police circulating false information and journalists being stopped from visiting us. We are told there is a possible threat around the press club area.”
Dr Mahrang Baloch also said the protesters were returning to Balochistan from Islamabad. She added, “We will hold a rally in Balochistan on January 27.”
Last month, Islamabad police launched a crackdown on the protesters and dismantled their sit-in outside the NPC, and arrested most of the protesters.
Initially, the government had defended the crackdown, declaring it a necessary measure to avoid a “catastrophe”. Following the nationwide anger over the crackdown, all Baloch protesters were released after a week-long detention.
The sit-in camp had persisted in spite of harsh weather. The protesters had accused police of harassing their supporters and registering first information reports against them.