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Posted by on Sep 15, 2011 in General News

Urgent: Please send messages calling for the release of Baba Jan and his comrades to farooqtariq@hotmail.com

September 15, 2011 — /Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

— Baba Jan, a federal committee member of the Labour Party Pakistan
(LPP), has been taken from jail … and the Inter Services Intelligence
(ISI) is torturing him on the name of investigation”, fears the LPP.
Baba Jan, surrendered himself to an “anti-terrorist court” in Gilgit
Baltestan last week, had been on the run since July 2011, after police
opened fire on a demonstration demanding compensation for those affected
by the Atta Abad Lake floods last year, killing two.

Baba Jan’s “crime” was that he organised rallies and demonstrations
against the police killings.

The LPP has issued an urgent appeal for messages to protest against Baba
Jan’s detention. The judge sent Baba Jan to prison on judicial remand.
“He was dragged out of jail by the intelligence agencies”, alleges the
alert. The Lab our Party Pakistan demonstrated today at Islamabad
National Press Club and has planned more demonstrations across Pakistan.

Instead of arresting the police officers involved in the deaths of the
two activists, police registered 16 charges against Baba Jan and others.
They arrested at least 36 activists, among them 10 members of the Labour
Party Gilgit Baltestan. Baba Jan escaped arrest and was sheltered by the
community; after a month underground, he decided to surrender.
Currently, six activists including Baba Jan remain under arrest, facing
charges that many know to be fabricated.

Baba Jan joined the Labour Party Pakistan in 2004 and was elected to the
LPP federal committee at its congress in Faisalabad in 2010. Previously
one of the main leaders of the Peoples Youth, he had left the Pakistan
Peoples Party (LPP) youth wing to join the LPP and organised the
Progressive Youth Front (PYF) across Gilgit Baltistan, the northernmost
province in Pakistan.

Ba ba Jan was among the first to raise the issue of the Atta Abad Lake
and toured Pakistan in 2011 to organise rallies and demonstrations to
highlight the plight of villagers who have lost their homes to this
newly formed lake caused by deforestation, soil erosion and climate change.

He spoke to the national media in press conferences held in Lahore,
Karachi and Islamabad.

The corporate media finally took up the issue and some compensation was
paid to the victims, however a new mov ement began to urge compensation
for all affected, as some had not been compensated. When the police
opened fire on the July protest, killing two activists, Baba Jan and his
comrades took up the case.

The Labour Party Pakistan appeals to all human rights organisations,
political parties, trade unions, youth and peasant organisations to raise
their voices to save the life of Baba Jan.

For more information, please contact Ihsan Ali, president of the Gilgit
Baltistan High Court Bar Association and member of LPP federal committee
(03462524792), or Nisar Shah, general secretary Labour Party Pakistan
(0300 2147960). Please send protest messages to Farooq Tariq at
farooqtariq@hotmail.com <mailto:farooqtariq@hotmail.com>.

For more background, please see http://links.org.au/node/2490