Fresh protests erupts in PoK’s Gilgit for release of Baba Jan

Updated:4 months, 2 weeks ago IST

Gilgit-Baltistan (PoK), Sep 03 (ANI): Fresh protests erupted in Pakistan occupied Kashmir's (PoK) Gilgit on Monday for the immediate release of political activist Baba Jan, who was recently acquitted but wasn't released from prison. Gilgit’s top political activist Baba Jan has recently been acquitted by the Hunza Court in a case brought by Pakistan against him. However, despite acquittal the security services, led by the ISI, have refused to release him from jail. A case was filed against Baba Jan and his fellow activists for raising the issue of illegal allotment of marble mines in Nasirabad Valley of Hunza to Chinese companies. The locals in Gilgit hit the streets to demand Baba Jan’s immediate release from the jail. Baba Jan and two other youth activists from Hunza, Amir Khan and Iftekhar Hussain, were convicted in August 2011 by an anti-terrorism court for participating in a mass movement against the inaction of the government during the Attabad incident. The protesters were seeking compensation for the loss of their property in the wake of a landslide that hit Attabad on January 4, 2010, killing 19 people, blocking the Hunza River and forming a 23 kilometers long lake that submerged three villagers upstream in Gojal, rendering around 500 people homeless and 25,000 stranded. Time and again, political activists from Gilgit-Baltistan have raised the issue of Baba Jan and other political activists at international platforms, including the United Nations, but Islamabad continues to mistreat people under Schedule-IV of Anti-Terrorism Act. Baba Jan’s case is a stark reminder of the sorry state of human rights in the region where an activist and political worker had to face lifetime sentence for campaigning against injustice and state oppression.

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