Press Statement 13th December 2013
To pay tribute to the old Chief Justice Mr Iftekhar Mohammad Chaudhry and welcome the new one Mr Tasadduq Jilani, under the pretext of the International Human Rights Day, Defence of Human Rights held a 7 days Camp at D chowk, Jinnah Avenue Islamabad. It started on 6th December and ended with a Grand Vigil on 12th December.
Political leaders like, Javed Hashmi, Asad Umar, Murad Saeed, Mian Aslam and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry visited the Camp and offered solidarity. Leading figures from legal fraternity and civil society also visited and payed tribute to the courageous struggle of the brave mothers, daughters, children and old of the Disappeared nationals of Pakistan, who braved the chilling cold, sickness and all the hardships for 7 days and nights.
Nearly 300 members of the families of Missing Persons participated in the day-n-night Camp from all parts of Pakistan. Almost daily 15 to 20 people were given first aid and taken to emergency treatment regarding cough, cold and influenza. Nargis bibi of Swat nearly suffered a stroke when she was rushed to the hospital with shooting blood pressure, traumatised shouting and wailing in acute depression.
Four year old boy of Shazia from Naushehra was diagnosed pneumonia and was immediately sent home. Abdul Rehman Baba 80 years of age belonging to Bajaor, shaking and shivering in the freezing cold fell unconscious and was shifted to the hospital in emergency. Most serious was the case of Babbo Sabiha Begam of Peshawar who was vomiting blood for 3 days and diagnosed severe chest infection, bronchitis and duodenal ulcers in the Polyclinic hospital.
There were extreme difficulties, harsh weather conditions, scarcity of food and tea,Cold sicknesses, noncooperation of the Islamabad Administration, threats of breaking our Camp, criminal neglect and irresponsible attitude of the Government, failure of the Interior Ministry in not just addressing this issue but also in not giving any relief or comfort to the aggrieved, however the morale, courage and hopes of the aggrieved families remained high and no one wanted to leave the Camp before getting their “Missing” loved ones back.
Last night we built the last campfire of the one week Missing Persons Camp. We pray and hope that all the loved ones be united soon. And this insane, unjust & torturous phenomenon of enforced disappearance will come to an end.
“Pyaraon ki rahae tak, jung rahe gii jung rahe gii” Departing moments of the Missing Persons Camp were very sad, touching and emotional as every one embraced each other cried and gave hope. The camp closed down with the hope that all the missing persons will be presented in the court of law on 18th December in front of the new Chief Justice and the proceedings will go exactly in compliance of the order dictated by old Chief Justice on 10th December 2013, declaring all the top hierachy of political leadership of Pakistan and all the relevant institutions responsible for the heinous crime of Enforced Disappearance in Pakistan. This obviously was a clear victory of our struggle and the impact cast by the timely Camp.
We shall come back. AGAIN. With even more strength and number. And Inshallah we will reunite every missing person.
Amina Masood Janjua
Defence of Human Rights
“Justice delayed is Justice Denied”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.