lördag 6 december 2008

Protest against Baloch terror trial

By: Peter Tatchell

Protest against Baloch terror trial

Drop all charges against Marri and Baluch Stop abusing the anti-terror laws Human rights campaigners are not terrorists Please circulate this appeal to all your friends. Urge them to attend on Monday 9am to 10am, Monday 1 DecemberWoolwich Crown Court, 2 Belmarsh Road, London SE28 0EY See the full address and directions below. Defend Hyrbyair Marri and Faiz Baluch, the Balochistan human rights campaigners who have been framed on terrorism charges by Pakistani intelligence (see a confidential briefing about their case below). Monday's protest is supported by Baloch and Sindhi rights campaigners and members of CAMPACC, the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities. "This trial is another abuse of the anti-terror laws," says human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who is helping coordinate Monday's protest. "The UK government has been blackmailed into arresting these men and harassing other Baloch exiles and refugees. Pakistan's military and intelligence services have threatened to end all cooperation with the UK in the so-called "war on terror" unless critics of its war in Balochistan are silenced and jailed. That is why Marri and Baluch are on trial. "Marri and Baluch have campaigned for self-determination for Balochistan and helped expose Pakistan's annexation and oppression of the Baloch nation. They are defending their people against oppression and exploitation. "The UK government aided and abetted the illegal dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf, selling him military equipment used to prosecute Pakistan's illegal war in Balochistan - a war that has involved the perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity," said Mr Tatchell. Please bring placards. Suggested slogans: Free Marri and BaluchHyrbyair and Faiz are innocentMarri and Baluch - Framed by PakistanSelf-defence is no offenceMarri & Baluch - Victims of police abuseWar on Terror - No more innocent victimsStop harassing Baloch refugeesPut Musharraf on trialDefending human rights is not terrorismDrop the charges - Free Marri and Baluch Please make sure the slogans are written in large, bold, dark lettering (this makes them easier to read and photograph). Court address and directions: Woolwich Crown Court2 Belmarsh RoadLondon SE28 0EY 020 8312 7000 Map location: http://tinyurl.com/5nbwqq Nearest train station: Plumstead, on the Southeastern line, fromLondon Bridge, Cannon Street or Lewisham. The court is about 15 minutes walk from Plumstead station. Further information: Peter Tatchell - 020 7403 1790 Baloch terror trial Helena Kennedy QC seeks disclosure by UK government Pakistan says: drop this prosecution Self-defence and abuse of process argument outlined CONFIDENTIAL briefing - NOT for publication, due to contempt laws, until these issues are revealed in court to the jury. In a surprise development, the terrorism trial of two London-based Baloch human rights campaigners, at Woolwich Crown Court in London, has been adjourned until Monday 1 December. This adjournment was prompted after defence lawyers stunned the prosecution by seeking disclosure of contacts between the British government and the illegal, unconstitutional dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf - including communications between the two governments concerning the arrest and prosecution of the trial defendants, the former Balochistan MP and government minister, Hyrbyair Marri, and his campaign assistant Faiz Baluch. Both men deny all the charges, stating that they are peaceful, lawful human rights campaigners. After three weeks of preliminary hearings and adjournments, the original jury has been discharged. A new jury will be sworn-in on Monday. The latest adjournment follows submissions by defence barristers, Henry Blaxland QC and Dame Helena Kennedy QC. "The defence has already secured disclosure from the prosecution that the Pakistan High Commissioner to London wrote to the court on behalf of the new democratic government of Pakistan. The High Commissioner's letter advised that his government wanted reconciliation in Baluchistan and opposed the prosecution, effectively calling for the charges to be dropped," according to human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who is a personal friend and political ally of the two defendants. "Previously, the acting Interior Minister of Pakistan, Rehman Malik, announced that terror charges against Mr Marri in Pakistan have been cancelled; stating that the case against him had been politically motivated. This discredits the whole basis on which Marri and Baluch have been charged in London," added Mr Tatchell. "The defence lawyers dropped a bombshell in the opening days of the trial, in early November, by seeking full disclosure of discussions between the British government and the regime of Pakistani dictator, Pervez Musharraf, concerning the arrest and prosecution of the two defendants. "The defence want to establish the political motivation of the prosecution by revealing the high level complicity between the Musharraf dictatorship and the British Foreign Office, Home Office, police, security services and the Crown Prosecution Service, which reportedly sent CPS officials to Pakistan to help Musharraf's men draw up the evidence against the defendants. "The request for disclosure has thrown the prosecution off balance and created panic in the government. The UK authorities do not want to reveal the relevant documents, as these are likely to demonstrate that they worked hand-in-glove with Mushararf's agents. Hence the adjournment, to give government ministers time to decide what, if anything, they should disclose. "There are fears that the government, police and security services might use 'national security' as an excuse to withhold truly damning evidence showing connivance between the British authorities and Musharraf's anti-democratic regime. "The defence plan to show that British government collaborated with the illegal regime of Pervez Musharraf, which overthrew the democratically-elected government of Pakistan in 1999. "This collaboration included illegally arming the illegal Musharraf regime to enable it to prosecute an illegal war in Balochistan. "British military equipment was supplied to Pakistan. It is likely that this equipment was used in Pakistani army operations in Balochistan, where the Pakistani forces have perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity. "The defence has argued that the whole trial is an abuse of legal process, on the grounds that Pakistani military forces committed war crimes in Balochistan and that it is therefore inappropriate to prosecute the two defendants who were merely seeking to protect their people against these atrocities. This abuse of trust argument has been rejected by the judge, Mr Justice Henriques. "The defence has also submitted that the defendants acted in self-defence to prevent human rights abuses in Balochistan. The judge has also rejected this argument. "The judge accepted the Baloch people are an oppressed minority, and that they have been victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity, perpetrated by the Pakistani military, police and intelligence services. These crimes include the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, extra-judicial killings, disappearances, torture, detention without trial and collective punishments - all of which are illegal acts under international law. "The judge has, however, insisted that despite this persecution and terrorisation by the Pakistani state, the Baloch people do not have the right to use violence to defend themselves and that anyone who supports or condones armed resistance groups in Balochistan is endorsing terrorism, which is a criminal offence under UK law. "According to this argument, and according to a strict reading of the UK's anti-terrorism laws, the millions of people who supported the anti-apartheid struggle of the African National Congress of South Africa were criminal supporters of terrorism, and the heroic men and women of the underground resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe during WW2 were terrorists. "If the anti-Nazi resistance was happening now, under current UK law, the UK's Special Operations Executive and the Maquis French resistance fighters would be put on trial and jailed as terrorists. This is the madness of the government's anti-terrorism legislation: good, honourable, courageous people fighting a just cause are branded terrorists, prosecuted and face imprisonment," said Mr Tatchell. See the trial background briefing below. Further information: Peter Tatchell - 020 7403 1790 www.petertatchell.net London terror trial - Defendants framed Human rights activists on terrorism charges UK colludes with Musharraf's agents London UK - 3 November 2008 Two London-based human rights campaigners stand trial today on terrorism charges, at Woolwich Crown Court in London. The case is being heard by Mr Justice Henriques and is expected to last six weeks. "This trial will expose high level collusion between the British government and the agents of the former Pakistani dictator, Pervez Musharraf," according to human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who is a personal friend and political ally of the two defendants. He stood bail for Mr Faiz Baluch. "These men were framed by the Musharraf regime, to silence their highly effective campaigning against Pakistani human rights abuses in Balochistan," added Mr Tatchell. "The British government was blackmailed into arresting them. Musharraf's agents issued an ultimatum to the UK authorities: arrest these men or we will halt all cooperation in the war on terror. The Labour government caved in to these demands from Musharraf's dictatorship. It decided these men were expendable for the so-called greater good of anti-terrorist cooperation with the Pakistani regime," said Mr Tatchell. The defendants are Hyrbyair Marri and Faiz Baluch. They are accused of preparing acts of terrorism abroad - charges they strenuously deny. Both men have been law-abiding citizens. They fled to Britain to escape persecution by the military coup leader and tyrant, General Pervez Musharraf. Mr Marri is represented by Henry Blaxland QC and Jim Nichol of TV Edwards Taylor Nichol solicitors (020 7272 8336) and Mr Baluch is represented by Helena Kennedy QC and Gareth Peirce of Birnberg Peirce solicitors (020 7911 0166). Mr Marri is a former MP and government minister in the regional assembly of Balochistan - a previously independent state, which was invaded and annexed by Pakistan in 1948, and which has ever since been under Pakistani military occupation. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Asian Human Rights Commission have documented and condemned severe and widespread human rights abuses by the Pakistani armed forces in Balochistan - abuses that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas and the systemic use of torture. In one of the most gruesome recent abuses, human rights campaigners allege that Pakistani soldiers boiled to death four Baloch prisoners in April this year. Mr Marri's father, Nawab Khair Baksh Marri, a renowned Baloch national leader, attended Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, along with other world dignitaries, as a guest of the British government. His uncle is Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, the UN Special Representative to Sudan and the former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, and his wife is the great grand daughter of the first Prime Minister of Iraq (1920-1922), Abdul Rahman al Gillani. Mr Marri and Mr Baluch, were arrested by police in London last December. Mr Marri spent four months in Belmarsh high security prison, and Mr Baluch eight months. "The police and security agencies in the UK have pursued these terror charges based on evidence provided to them by Musharraf's dictatorship - a dictatorship that the arrested men campaigned against," said Mr Tatchell. "Our government has ignored the fact that Musharraf's henchmen in the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI, are notorious for framing political opponents, especially Baloch nationalists. "Marri and Baluch have been set up by Musharraf's agents because of their highly effective exposure of Pakistan's war crimes and crimes against humanity in annexed Balochistan. "This belief has been reinforced by the acting Interior Minister of the new democratic government of Pakistan, Rehman Malik. He recently announced that terror charges against Mr Marri in Pakistan have been dropped; stating that the case against him had been politically motivated. This discredits the whole basis on which Marri and Baluch have been charged in London. "Marri's and Baluch's arrest came just a few months after Musharraf demanded that the British government arrest Baloch activists in London. In exchange, Musharraf offered to hand over Rashid Rauf, implying that action against the Baloch activists was a precondition for surrendering Rauf to the UK. Rauf is wanted in this country in connection with the 2006 Islamist terror plot involving liquid explosives on trans-Atlantic airliners, which resulted in the conviction of three men in London in September. He is also sought in connection with a murder in the UK. "The arrest in London of Marri and Baluch took place two weeks after Pakistani government agents assassinated Marri's brother, Balach Marri, a prominent Baloch nationalist leader. "Prior to Marri's arrest, Musharraf's regime made repeated representations to the UK government that he was wanted on terrorism charges in Pakistan - charges that have now been dropped by the Pakistani authorities. "Soon after Musharraf met Gordon Brown at Downing Street in January this year, he held a press conference for Pakistani journalists where he allegedly denounced Marri as a terrorist and praised the British government and police for cooperating with his regime. "Claims of connivance are credible. For nine years, the UK's Labour government supported Musharraf's dictatorship politically, economically and militarily, despite him having overthrown Pakistan's democratically-elected government in 1999. Labour sold him military equipment that his army uses to kill innocent Baloch people. The US supplies the F-16 fighter jets and Cobra attack helicopters that are used to bomb and strafe villages. "Marri is an unlikely terrorist. He is a former Balochistan MP (1997-2002), and was the Minster for Construction and Works in the provincial assembly in 1997-1998. He fled to Britain in 2000, fearing arrest, torture and possible assassination by Musharraf's men. "One of his brothers is Mehran Baluch. He is the Baloch Representative to the UN Human Rights Council. He was the subject of an attempted extradition plot last year by Musharraf's regime, on trumped up charges. "The arrest of Marri - together with the murder of one brother and the attempt to frame another brother - looks like a systematic attempt to target his family and crush three leading voices of Baloch dissent. "A former British Protectorate, Balochistan secured its independence in 1947, alongside India and Pakistan, but was invaded and forcibly annexed by Pakistan in 1948. The Baloch people did not vote for incorporation. They were never given a choice. Ever since, Balochistan has been under military occupation by Islamabad. Baloch demands for a referendum on self-rule have been rejected. Democratically elected Baloch leaders who have refused to kow-tow to Pakistan's subjugation have been arrested, jailed and murdered. "The Asian Human Rights Commission reports that Pakistani army raids have resulted in 3,000 Baloch people dead, 200,000 displaced and 4,000 arrested. Thousands more have simply disappeared," said Mr Tatchell. Briefing on human rights abuses Details of Pakistan's human rights abuses in Balochistan are well documented by Pakistani and international human rights groups, including: Human Rights Commission of Pakistanhttp://www.hrcp-web.org/balochistan_mission.cfmandhttp://www.hrcp-web.org/images/publication/balochistan%20report/pdf/balochistan_report.pdf Asian Human Rights Commissionhttp://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2006statements/708 International Crisis Groupwww.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4373 Amnesty Internationalhttp://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA330042006 Carnegie Endowment for International Peacehttp://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=17865&prog=zgp&proj=zsa&zoom_highlight=Baluchistan Human Rights Watchhttp://hrw.org/wr2k8/pdfs/pakistan.pdf Watch this TV interview by Peter Tatchell with Mehran Baluch, the Baloch representative to the UN Human Rights Council:http://www.veoh.com/videos/v15574249Ka8gKRt6 Further information: Peter Tatchell - 020 7403 1790 www.petertatchell.net ENDS
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لينکهاي مرتبط
اسامي تعدادي از اعدام و کشته شدگان بلوچ توسط نيروهاي انتظامي رژيم جمهوري اسلامي ايران....اينجا را کليک کنيد
A list of Baloch youth who killed by Iranian Regime in year 2005-2007
صفحه خبرهای حقوق بشر بلوچ
Baloch Rights Watch News
اسامي تعدادي از اعدام و کشته شدگان بلوچ توسط نيروهاي انتظامي رژيم جمهوري اسلامي ايران....اينجا را کليک کنيد
A list of Baloch youth who killed by Iranian Regime in year 2005-2008

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