Published in The Daily Times on Oct. 04 ::
Baloch representative at the United Nations HRC and human rights campaigner Noordin Mengal made a visit to Brussels to raise awareness of the ongoing human rights violations against the Baloch people.
During the visit, the Baloch representative engaged in constructive dialogue with Members of the European Parliament, the European Parliament’s Presidential Cabinet, representatives of the EU’s diplomatic service – the European External Action Service [EEAS], political advisors, and human rights organisations. Mengal explained that the plight of the Baloch people continues. Areas of focus in the discussions ranged from enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, summary executions, discovery of mass graves, severe threats to journalists and human rights workers, and acid attacks on women – a brutal method used to terrorise and prevent women from becoming a potent and active part of society, to internally displaced persons, systematic persecution of religious minorities, women’s rights, forced closure of secular and English-language schools and deprivation of education, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, economic exploitation and marginalization, land-grabbing, and digital rights-issues, such as censorship.
The Baloch representative shed light on the alleged campaign to suppress independent journalism including the harassment and illegal closure of a private news channel and drew attention to the assassination attempt on Pakistani journalist and anchor Hamid Mir, for highlighting the status quo and the case of enforced disappearances among other human rights abuses in Balochistan. Mengal stressed on the crucial need for the international community to intervene to prevent the region’s volatile situation from exacerbating.