lunedì 21 marzo 2011



2 Marzo 2011
AI Index: PRE01/097/2011
Amnesty International ha chiesto al governo del Pakistan di garantire che gli assassini di  Shahbaz Bhatti, il ministro per le minoranze che è stato assassinato, compaiano di fronte alla giustizia.

Bhatti, l’unico membro cristiano del governo e uno dei pochi tra i più influenti politici del paese ad avere chiesto modifiche alle controverse leggi sulla blasfemia, è morto oggi,  dopo che tre uomini armati hanno aperto il fuoco sulla sua auto mentre viaggiava per lavoro nella capitale  Islamabad.
“Il governo pakistano deve agire immediatamente per portare gli assassini di fronte alla giustizia, in un processo che garantisca gli standard internazionali.
La continuata  assenza di una verifica delle responsabilità di chi ha commesso abusi ha gravemente eroso lo stato di diritto in Pakistan,”ha detto  Sam Zarifi,  Direttore di Amnesty International per Asia e -Pacifico.
Bhatti  era stato minacciato da parte di gruppi che si opponevano alle riforme delle leggi sulla blasfemia.
Prima di  Bhatti era stato ucciso, a  gennaio,    Salman Taseer,  il governatore della provincia del  Punjab.  Anche Taseer aveva criticato in modo  esplicito le leggi sulla blasfemia.
“Tali violazioni prosperano in un clima di impunità e irresponsabilità e sono incoraggiate dal fallimento del governo  nel  rispettare i propri obblighi relativamente ai diritti umani” ha detto Sam Zarifi.

“Il governo  deve evitare le  fallimentari pratiche legali che hanno danneggiato le precedenti indagini, in riferimento ai casi di Taseer e dell’ex  Primo Ministro Benazir Bhutto.”
I  Talebani del Pakistan, secondo quanto si riferisce,   hanno rivendicato la responsabilità dell’omicidio di Bhatti e hanno minacciato di un destino analogo a quello di Bhatti e Taseer gli altri critici delle leggi sulla blasfemia. Infatti molti critici delle leggi hanno ricevuto minacce di morte nei due mesi passati.
Membri  di gruppi religiosi minoritari hanno detto ad  Amnesty International che stanno fronteggiando minacce sempre maggiori da parte dei gruppi estremisti.
“E’ in definitiva responsabilità del governo pakistano proteggere i cittadini dalla violenza perpetrata dai gruppi estremisti. Il  Presidente  Zardari – e le forze di sicurezza – devono rafforzare la protezione dei pakistani che hanno chiesto di riformare le leggi nazionali sulla blasfemia ” ha detto  Sam Zarifi.

martedì 15 marzo 2011

Muzaffar Bhutto attivista politico rapito in Pakistan

Document - Pakistan: Political activist abducted in Pakistan: Muzaffar Bhutto

UA: 59/11 Index: ASA 33/001/2011 Pakistan Date: 04 March 2011

political activist abducted in pakistan
Muzaffar Bhutto, a senior member of a Sindhi nationalist political party in Pakistan, has been abducted for a second time allegedly by plain-clothed intelligence agents and police on 25 February. His wife is concerned for his life, as he is suffering from serious health problems. Amnesty International fears he might be tortured or ill-treated whilst in detention.
Muzaffar Bhutto is General Secretary of Jeay Sindh Muttaheda Mahaz (JSMM), a political party advocating greater autonomy for the province of Sindh from Pakistan. He was travelling in his car on 25 February with his wife and younger brother, when they were stopped by around twenty men in plain clothes who came out of unmarked cars and were escorted by a number of police waiting at the area of Saeedabad Tool plaza in Hyderabad city of Sindh province. According to eyewitness accounts, after a brief scuffle during which police fired three rounds into the air, Muzaffar Bhutto was forcibly detained at gun point.
Mr Bhutto’s wife filed an application for a First Information Report with police to determine what has happened to her husband and lodged an application against the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and police from the district on 28 February. The case will be heard on March 10, but representatives of the police and the ISI seldom appear at such hearings, particularly during hearings on disappearance cases.
Muzaffar Bhutto’s wife fears for his life as she believes he is held in secret detention and might be tortured or ill-treated and particularly as he suffers from an ulcer and asthma in addition to discomfort as result of backbone surgery he undertook due to injuries sustained whilst allegedly being tortured during his previous abduction on 6 October 2005. Following the first abduction, he was missing until 8 November 2006, when he was shifted into the custody of police in Jamshoro town of Sindh. Police claimed that they arrested Muzaffar and charged him with an attempt to bomb a gas pipeline and he was transferred to Hyderabad Central Jail. He was later tried in an anti-terrorism court, facing a series of trials but was released on 5 January 2009. According to his relatives, Muzzafar told them he had been detained by agents of the ISI. Muzaffar Bhutto has also faced charges of various other terrorism related crimes of destroying government infrastructure, but has been either released on bail or acquitted.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Urdu, English or your own language:
  • Expressing concern that Muzaffar Bhutto has not been seen or heard from since 25 February;
  • Urging the authorities to conduct an immediate, prompt and impartial investigation into the whereabouts of Muzaffar Bhutto and inform his relatives, ensuring that anyone involved in his enforced disappearance, including at the highest levels of command, is promptly brought to justice and the victims are granted reparations;
  • Demanding Muzaffar Bhutto’s immediate release or transfer to an official place of detention and promptly charged with an internationally recognizable offence and remanded by an independent court;
  • Calling on the authorities to ensure that Muzaffar Bhutto is not tortured or ill-treated, and is allowed access to family, lawyers of his choice and any medical treatment he may require given his health condition.

President of Pakistan
Mr Asif Ali Zardari
Pakistan Secretariat
Fax: +92 51 9221422 / 2282741
Salutation: Dear President
Chief Minister Sindh
Syed Qaim Ali Shah
Chief Minister House,
Dr Zaiuddin Ahmed Road
Karachi, Sindh Province
Fax: +92-21-9211368
Salutation: Dear Chief Minster
Home Minister of Sindh
Mr Zulfiqar Mirza
Sindh Province
Fax: +92-21-9204922
Salutation: Dear Minister
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Political activist abducted in pakistan

ADditional Information

Two other Sindhi activists were reportedly abducted in October 2009 and since then their families have not heard from them. Aakash Mallah, Vice Chairman of the Sindh nationalist party Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), and JSQM activist Noor Mohammad Khaskheli, were abducted on 30 October 2009, in Sindh province, south-eastern Pakistan. Local sources allege the two men were subjected to enforced disappearances by government security officials. There have been a series of court hearings on the case since then and two officers of the Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), have faced allegations by the police for carrying out the abduction. But still the whereabouts of the two men remain unknown and intelligence agencies have rejected the allegations that the two men are held in their custody.

Since Pakistan became a key ally in the US-led “war on terror” in late 2001, hundreds, if not thousands of people, both Pakistani and foreign nationals have been subjected to enforced disappearances in Pakistan. As a result of this practice, people are kidnapped, held in secret locations outside any judicial or legal system, and are often being subjected to torture or other ill-treatment. The clandestine nature of the arrests and detentions of suspects makes it impossible to know exactly how many people have been subjected to enforced disappearance in the last ten years. The practice spread to domestic opponents of the Pakistani government, in particular Baloch and Sindhi nationalists. Held in secret detention out of sight and without charge, without access to their families or lawyers, their fate and whereabouts remain unknown

Despite several pledges by the newly elected Pakistan's civilian government in 2008 to resolve the country's crisis of 'disappearances', the authorities have not yet provided information about hundreds of cases of people believed to be held secretly by the government as part of the so-called “war on terror”, or in response to internal opposition in Balochistan or Sindh provinces. The Government has also failed to fulfil its promise made in May 2008 that it would accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

In March 2010 the Pakistan government set up a Judicial Commission to investigate disappearance cases, with a view to tracing individuals. The Commission began its hearings on 28 April 2010 and reached its conclusion on 31 December 2010. The Commission's report, which was submitted to the Federal government for review remains classified. On 10 January 2011, a three-member judges’ bench of the Supreme Court resumed the hearing of disappearances case after a pause that had lasted nine months. During a hearing when the Judicial Commission's report was presented, it emerged that the Commission was able to trace 134 missing persons. The list of traced persons is not available to the public. The Commission has been criticised for its narrow mandate and for its failure to investigate the role of the intelligence agencies, the main body accused of involvement in the disappearances, and to hold them to account.

Acts of enforced disappearance violate several provisions of Pakistan’s Constitution, including freedom from arbitrary detention, the right to judicial overview of detentions and the prohibition of torture.

Enforced disappearance is defined in Article 2 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance which the UN General Assembly adopted in December 2006, as:“[…] the arrest, detention, abduction, or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”

UA: 59/11 Index: ASA 33/001/2011 Issue Date: 04 March 2011

mercoledì 9 marzo 2011

Un altro attentato suicida in Pakistan

Attentat meurtrier lors de funérailles au Pakistan

LEMONDE.FR avec AFP et Reuters | 09.03.11 | 08h43  •  Mis à jour le 09.03.11 | 12h17

Au moins 37 personnes ont été tuées, mercredi 9 mars, dans un attentat-suicide perpétré lors de funérailles à Peshawar, dans le nord-ouest du Pakistan.

Le drame s'est produit lors des obsèques de l'épouse d'un membre d'une tribu pachtoune (favorable au gouvernement) combattant au sein d'une milice anti-talibane, dans le hameau d'Adezaï, dans un quartier périphérique de la métrople, située aux portes des zones tribales bastion des insurgés islamistes. "Le kamikaze est arrivé à pied, son objectif était les membres de la milice anti-talibane" qui assistaient aux funérailles, a déclaré un officier de la police de Peshawar.
Cette nouvelle attaque survient au lendemain d'un attentat dévastateur dans une station-service à proximité des bureaux des puissants services de renseignement à Faisalabad, dans le centre du Pakistan, qui a fait 25 morts et plus de 150 blessés.
Le Pakistan est en proie à une vague sans précédent d'attentats (plus de 450), pour l'essentiel perpétrés par des talibans alliés à Al-Qaida et qui ont fait plus de 4 100 morts en trois ans et demi. Ces insurgés et des groupes fondamentalistes alliés ont décrété, à l'été 2007 et à l'unisson d'Oussama Ben Laden en personne, le djihad au gouvernement pakistanais pour son soutien à Washington depuis fin 2001. Les attentats visent le plus souvent les forces de sécurité – armée, police, services du renseignement –, mais également de plus en plus fréquemment des objectifs civils.

venerdì 4 marzo 2011

L'articolo di Ahmed Rashid sul New York Review of Books 4 marzo 2011

Un esercito senza stato
The assassination on Wednesday of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Minorities, killed in broad daylight in Islamabad by four gunmen, is one of the most shameful acts of political violence committed by Pakistani extremists. That it comes just two months after the murder of Salman Taseer, the Governor of Punjab and one of the country’s leading liberal voices makes it all the more chilling. Yet the government and state’s reaction to the two killings has been even more shameful—raising the disturbing possibility that extremism is still being used by the security services in its efforts to oppose Western policies in the region.
The 40-year-old Bhatti was a Roman Catholic and the only Christian member of the cabinet of Prime Minister Yousf Reza Gailani. It was a death foretold. Taseer had been assassinated for his courageous struggle to amend Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which has been used to persecute minorities—a struggle to which Bhatti had also dedicated himself. Bhatti made a videotape some months ago that he wanted released to the BBC if he was killed. In it he said he would carry on the campaign to amend the blasphemy law.
“I will prefer to die for the cause [of defending] the rights of my community rather than to compromise on my principles,” Bhatti said in the tape. “The forces of violence, militants, banned organizations, Taliban and al-Qaeda, want to impose their radical philosophy in Pakistan and whosoever stands against it, they threaten him.”
Bhatti knew his life was in danger; he had been threatened repeatedly in recent weeks and had asked the government to provide him with security and a bulletproof vehicle. But even after Taseer’s murder, the government did nothing. Like Taseer, he ended up riddled with machine gun fire—though it is unclear whether a security detail might have helped, since Taseer was shot dead by his own bodyguard, a highly trained police officer. In both cases, the killers have come from a culture that has grown increasingly intolerant in recent years, abounds in conspiracy theories, and wrongly interprets Islam solely in terms of jihad and violence.
As leaders worldwide—from the Pope to Hillary Clinton to Nicolas Sarkozy—strongly condemn Bhatti’s murder, the reaction of the Pakistani government has been vapid. No action has been taken or promises made to curb the freedom of violent extremist groups, who have hailed both murders and who have meanwhile been staging daily street demonstrations in Lahore to demand the death sentence for Raymond Davis, the American CIA agent who is now in Pakistani custody after killing two Pakistani men believed to be agents for the army’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). (Davis was part of a secret team working in the country; the exposure of his activities puts further strain on the uneasy alliance between the US and Pakistan.)
For its part, the army has so far failed to express regret about either Bhatti’s murder or Taseer’s. The army chief General Ashfaq Kayani declined to publicly condemn Taseer’s death or even to issue a public condolence to his family. He told Western ambassadors in January in Islamabad that there were too many soldiers in the ranks who sympathize with the killer, and showed them a scrapbook of photographs of Taseer’s killer being hailed as a hero by fellow police officers. Any public statement, he hinted, could endanger the army’s unity.
Behind this silence lies something more sinister. For decades the army and the ISI have controlled the extremist groups, arming and training them in exchange for their continuing to serve as proxy forces in Afghanistan and Kashmir. But in recent years, the army has lost control of them and they are striking targets of their own. Yet the army has refused to help crack down on its rogue protégés—despite the fact that extremists have increasingly attacked the army and the ISI itself, and at least 2,000 military personnel have died at their hands in the past five years. This is all the more ominous in view of the resources the military commands: half a million men, another half a million reserves, 110 nuclear weapons (according to US media estimates) and one of the largest intelligence agencies in the world, the ISI, which has an estimated 100,000 employees.
If the army has now surrendered any willingness to take on the extremists, the political establishment had already given up long ago. Prime Minister Gailani and President Asif Ali Zardari head the Pakistan People’s Party, the largest national party in the country—some would say the only national party left. Zardari, as the husband of slain leader Benazir Bhutto, is no stranger to extremism himself, and his populist base has traditionally voted for the party’s anti-mullah, anti-army and pro-people policies. Unfortunately those principles were abandoned by a series of corrupt and ineffectual leaders, and the PPP today is not even a shadow of what it once was.
Zardari has backtracked on foreign policy goals such as improving relations with India and Afghanistan, as well as on domestic efforts to curb the power of the extremists and impose new taxes—on almost everything that may have helped Pakistan move towards becoming a modern state. There is no doubt that the army has tried to thwart the civilian leaders at almost every turn—but rather than resist or resign, the politicians have just been brow beaten into compliance and abject submission.
As a result, there is a vicious double game playing out in the streets, fueling the tensions that resulted in Bhatti’s death. The security agencies have unleashed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LT)—the largest and most feared extremist group in Pakistan, which was behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks—on to the streets of Lahore. The group has been banned by the US, Britain and the United Nations and supposedly by Pakistan too. LT stalwarts have been demonstrating daily outside the US consulate to ensure that Raymond Davis—who was apparently charged with monitoring their activities—hangs. By giving free reign to such banned groups the security agencies may have inadvertently signaled to all extremist groups, including the sectarian groups who hate Christians, that they are free to take the law into their own hands. What is behind this complex and mind-boggling strategy? It is all part of a wider cat and mouse escalation between the US and the Pakistani military. The army wants to control any future peace talks that the US may have with the Taliban, so that the army’s aims for a future pro-Pakistan Afghan government in Kabul are met. Its leaders also want to make doubly sure that any long-term American arrangements do not leave Pakistan’s rival India in a stronger position in Afghanistan.
So far the US seems unmoved; and it has already circumvented the ISI to start indirect peace talks with some Taliban. One consequence is that the military are allowing extremist groups considered anathema to the US on the streets. This is also why Davis is not being freed, and why US-Pakistan relations are at their worst in many years. In the meantime, the army and the government continue to receive about $3 billion a year in US military and economic aid.
On March 3, Senator Bob Corker, who recently visited Islamabad, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he found Pakistan “the most disheartening place in the world to be, where you are talking the type of relationship that we have.” He added, “I think that in many ways we get played like a piece of music” by the Pakistanis.
The ISI may well be playing the Americans, but it does so at the cost of steadily ceding ground to the extremists. Right now Pakistan is becoming a place where there is an army without a country.
March 4, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Comunicato stampa di Amnesty dopo l'omicidio del ministro delle minoranze

Pakistan urged to bring killers of minorities’ minister to justice

2 March 2011
AI Index: PRE01/097/2011
Amnesty International has called on Pakistan’s government to ensure the killers of Shahbaz Bhatti, the country’s minister for minorities, are brought to justice.
Bhatti, the only Christian member of the cabinet and one of the country’s few leading politicians calling for changes to the country's controversial blasphemy laws, died today after three armed men opened fire on his car as he travelled to work in the capital, Islamabad.
“The Pakistani government must act immediately to bring the assassins to justice in a trial that meets international standards. Continued lack of accountability for perpetrators of abuse has severely eroded the rule of law in Pakistan,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.
Bhatti had previously received threats from groups opposed to reforms of the blasphemy laws.
The assassination follows the January killing of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, and another outspoken critic of the laws.
“Such violations thrive in the atmosphere of impunity and irresponsibility fostered by the government's failure to uphold its human rights obligations,” said Sam Zarifi.

“The government must avoid the faulty forensic practices that have marred previous investigations, such as in the cases of Taseer and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.”
The Pakistani Taleban have reportedly claimed responsibility for killing Bhatti and warned others who have criticized the blasphemy laws that they will meet the same fate.
Several critics of the blasphemy laws have received death threats in the past two months.
Members of religious minority groups have told Amnesty International that they face increasing threats from extremist groups.
“It is ultimately the responsibility of the Pakistan government to protect its citizens from violence committed by extremist groups. President Zardari – and the security forces – must increase protection to all Pakistanis who have called for reform of the country’s blasphemy laws,” said Sam Zarifi.

Comunicato stampa di Amnesty sul Balochistan 23 febbraio 2011

Pakistan: Balochistan atrocities continue to rise

23 February 2011
AI Index: PRE01/079/2011

The Pakistan government must immediately provide accountability for the alarming number of killings and abductions in Balochistan attributed to government forces in recent months, Amnesty International said today.
Amnesty International also called on Baloch armed groups to avoid attacks that target or endanger civilians, in the face of escalating attacks on government workers and non-Baloch residents of the province.
In the last four months, at least 90 Baloch activists, teachers, journalists and lawyers have disappeared or been murdered, many in ‘kill and dump’ operations, according to information compiled by Amnesty International. Their bullet-ridden bodies, most bearing torture marks, have been recovered across Balochistan.
“Since October, every month has seen an increase in the cases of alleged disappearances and unlawful killings,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director. “These atrocities are carried out with flagrant impunity. Credible investigations into these incidents – resulting in prosecutions – are absolutely necessary to establish some trust between the Baloch people and the Pakistan government.”
The victims’ relatives and Baloch groups blame the ‘kill and dump’ incidents on Pakistani security forces, particularly the Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies. Many of the victims were abducted by uniformed Frontier Corps soldiers, often accompanying men in plain clothes, in front of multiple witnesses.
Security forces deny the charges, claiming that the deaths were a result of rivalry between Baloch militant groups.
“The human rights crisis in Balochistan has largely been ignored, even inside Pakistan, but thousands of people are not only suffering from extreme deprivation but discrimination, insecurity and human rights abuses on a massive scale,” said Sam Zarifi. “Human rights abuses attributed to the security agencies have created a climate of fear for the families of the disappeared. They are terrified to speak out in fear that security agents will kill their loved ones or abduct other family members in reprisal.”
Armed Baloch groups have also been implicated in a surge in targeted killings of non-Baloch civilians and government employees, including teachers at government education institutions. Hundreds of teachers have fled the province as a result of these killings, bringing the education system to breaking point.
Baloch armed groups have claimed responsibility for a series of bombings on gas infrastructure causing a desperate shortage of fuel for cooking and heating throughout the province during the coldest period of the year. Sectarian targeted killings have also increased, and Balochistan’s Hazara Shi’a community claims that Taleban and Sunni extremists have murdered hundreds of their members since 2004.
“Baloch armed groups must also avoid endangering civilians,” said Sam Zarifi. “The apparent targeting of civilians, teachers and government officials by Baloch groups, has forced many of them to flee the province, which only worsens conditions for the already poorly-served Baloch people.”
In November 2009, the Pakistan Government attempted to address long-running Baloch grievances about economic and political disenfranchisement and human rights abuses with a package of laws called the Aghaz Huqooq-i-Balochistan (“the Beginning of Rights of Balochistan”). However, according to a recent report in the Dawn newspaper, only a quarter of the proposed measures have been implemented thus far.
Amnesty International calls on the Pakistan government to:
• Investigate all alleged human rights abuses, including all “disappearances” recorded by the judicial Commission of Inquiry for Missing Persons;
• Bring all perpetrators of abuses to justice, whether they belong to security forces or non-state armed groups; and
• Ensure that all individuals brought to justice receive a fair trial and are not subjected to torture or other abuse in detention.
“Pakistan’s foreign allies should ensure military assistance is not linked to human rights abuses in Balochistan,” said Sam Zarifi.  “As Pakistan’s most significant international allies, Amnesty International calls on the United States and China to ensure their support for security forces in Balochistan does not assist human rights abusers.”

Balochistan has a long history of civil and armed unrest since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, with ethnic Baloch groups advocating greater autonomy within the state or complete separation.
Balochistan holds the largest single source of domestic energy reserves in Pakistan, but Baloch groups argue these resources disproportionately benefit other provinces and ethnic communities.
The Baloch people remain one of the poorest communities within Pakistan with some of the lowest literacy and employment rates and life expectancies.
Notes to editors
A breakdown of victims of reported disappearances and alleged extrajudicial and unlawful killings in Balochistan is available here.

mercoledì 2 marzo 2011

Un altro omicidio politico in Pakistan

Dopo il governatore del Punjab è stato assassinato un altro politico favorevole a una revisione delle leggi sulla blasfemia, il ministro delle minoranze Bhatti.
Ecco il link a uno dei più noti quotidiani pakistani