Amnesty International condemns Gwadar siege; calls reversal of emergency

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London-based human rights organization Amnesty International condemned the violent suppression of peaceful protests in Gwadar and called on the authorities to reverse the draconian emergency law, which has virtually put Gwadar under siege.

Taking to Twitter, Amnesty International said the imposition of Article 144 on Gwadar must not be used as an excuse for human rights violations.

Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), commonly known as the ’emergency law’, empowers district administration to issue orders that may place a ban on a certain activity for a limited time. Pakistani authorities imposed Article 144 in Gwadar to quell the massive uprising encouraged by the Haq Do movement.

The Haq Do movement is a non-violent civilian movement that advocates for the rights of the people of Balochistan. The movement, led by Maulana Hidayat Ur Rehman, came under the spotlight in 2021 after it organized a massive gathering in Gwadar, calling for the end to illegal trawling in the sea and the demilitarization of Balochistan.

Amnesty International said the emergency law is not necessary as it inhibits the people of Gwadar from communicating with the rest of the world.

Internet and cellular services in the city have been shut down, which has made it difficult to accurately report on what’s happening in the city.

“Amnesty International is concerned that both the internet ban and emergency law will serve as a springboard for further crackdown on people’s fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, right to personal security and freedom from arbitrary detention”, the group said.

The group called on the authorities to roll back the emergency law, remove the ban on public gatherings and restore the internet and cellular services.


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