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US: Plane circles Statue of Liberty with message urging UN to help end rights abuses in Balochistan


ANI General News
A plane towing a banner with the message "U.N must help end human rights abuses in Balochistan" circled the Statue of Liberty in New York , hours before Pakistan's Prime minister Imran Khan's address to the United Nations General Assembly .
The initiative was part of the continuing campaign by human rights campaigners from the World Baloch Organisation (WBO) to highlight the dire human rights situation in Balochistan and attempt to bring international attention to the grave issue.
The mineral-rich restive region in Pakistan has for decades been subjected to Pakistan military's oppressive rule.
The plane flew down the Hudson River along the city's skyline and circled ten times around the Statue of Liberty, the symbol of hope and freedom, grabbing the attention of thousands from the city and on Liberty Island.
The WBO believes the banners will serve as a reminder to world powers in the city to speak up against the dire human rights situation in Balochistan where there is a state-imposed media black-out.
According to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, an entity established by the Pakistani government, 5000 cases of enforced disappearances have been registered since 2014. Most of them are still unresolved.
Independent local and international human rights organisations have put the numbers much higher. 20,000 people have reportedly been abducted only from Balochistan, out of which more than 2,500 have turned up dead as bullet-riddled dead bodies, bearing signs of extreme torture.
Earlier billboards were also seen in the city carrying messages such as "Baloch Lives Also Matter" and "Justice for Balochistan" in a bid to capture the attention of thousands of people who are in the city to attend the General assembly.
Pakistan's establishment has been long criticized over its practice of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings by International bodies and local human rights organisations that dare to speak out on the issue.
Before being elected as Prime Minister, Imran Khan had admitted in multiple TV interviews the involvement of Pakistan's intelligence agencies in enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings and vowed to resign if he was unable to put an end to the practice, holding those involved responsible.
Families of the abducted victims have long been protesting for the safe recovery of their loved ones in the provincial capital Quetta, and their protest camp has now completed more than 3500 days.
Organisers of the campaign have been engaged in efforts to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan at international platforms, organising events around Europe and in the United States and focusing on advocacy activities in the European Parliament, the US parliamentary houses, and the United Nations.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 7:10 PM IST

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