Amnesty International calls to end ‘arbitrary detention’ of Mahal Baloch
Amnesty International has called to end the “arbitrary detention” of Mahal Baloch as she remains in the custody of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).
“Authorities must immediately release Mahal Baloch or charge her with a recognizable offence, in accordance with international human rights law,” the human rights watchdog wrote in the letter to Minister of Interior Rana Sanaullah.
Mahal, 28, was detained in Quetta by a 12-member CTD team on February 18 this year. Since then, she has been produced before courts four times and each time the law enforcement agency has asked for a custody extension.
Amnesty International said that it is a violation of Mahal’s fair trial rights including the right to be free from arbitrary arrest and to be promptly informed of any charges against her.
“Mahal’s prolonged detention is a violation of international fair trial standards and Pakistan’s legal international human rights obligations including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” the letter read.
The letter from Amnesty International came a day after Balochistan chief minister’s spokesperson Babar Yousafzai claimed that a terrorist named Sharbat Gul had given the suicide jacket to Mahal Baloch. He was flanked by DIG CTD Aitazaz Goraya in the press conference.
“A close associate of Mahal has also been arrested. She was going to give the suicide jacket to someone else,” he had said. “We had arrested [both of] them red-handed. We will give more updates in the upcoming days,” he had said.
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