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Pakistan: Release Baba Jan! An International Appeal to the Pakistani and Gilgit-Baltistan Governments


Monday 22 May 2017, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]


VERY URGENT CALL FOR SIGNATURES – Release Baba Jan! An International Appeal to the Pakistani and Gilgit-Baltistan Governments

Saturday 20 May 2017, by Collective, Petition

International appeal launched by Farooq Tariq, Spokesperson Awami Workers Party

This is a very urgent call for solidarity signatures. Baba Jan, a dedicated activist from Gilgit-Balistan, north of Pakistan, is appealing against a life sentence. His final review petition will be heard by the Supreme Court May 25, 2017. To have an effect, this international call has to be sent Monday 22, 2017 in the evening (French time).

Signatures can be sent here

More information on Baba Jan case is available on ESSF. See JAN Baba

Baba Jan is a political activist in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) facing a life sentence along with 12 others in Gahkooch jail. He is a member of the Awami Workers’ Party federal committee and president of the Progressive Youth Front. He was sentenced on charges of rioting and organizing illegal rallies in 2010. His real “crime” was to help the victims of Atta Abad Lake to receive a fair compensation. The lake was established after the land slippage that blocked the path of the river.

In 2010, when the people of Ali Abad, the main city of Hunza valley, protested for fair compensation for all the genuine victims of the Atta Abad Lake, the police opened fire killing two protesters, a father and son. There was a very strong protest immediately and people rebelled. Baba Jan was not there at the time. He later joined the protest and tried to cool down the temperature of the mood of people by organizing rallies and demonstrations. It was promised that the police case would be registered against the responsible police office for firing on the peaceful demonstrators.

Instead, various police charges were registered against Baba Jan alongside over 100 activists from various political parties under anti-terrorist laws. Anti-terrorist laws are very often used against political activists in Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan on political grounds.

Baba Jan and his 12 colleagues were sentenced to life in 2014 by the anti-terrorist court, it had never been heard before that demonstrators should be sentenced to life for protesting. The High Court of GB acquitted Baba Jan later upon his appeal against the verdict.

Baba Jan stood in the general elections in 2015 and came second in his home constituency. However, when a bye election was to be held again in the same constituency, afterthe winner was made governor of GB, and it emerged that no one could match the popularity of Baba Jan, the government went to the Supreme Court and asked that their appeal against Baba Jan’s acquittal be heard before the election and the election should be postponed.

Later the Supreme Court restored the life sentence of Baba Jan, many believed the decision was taken on a political basis to keep Baba Jan out of the contest.

The Supreme Court should hear the final review petition of Baba Jan on 25th May 2017.
This is to demand from the government of GB to withdraw their appeal in the Supreme Court and plead at inthe Supreme Court for the release of Baba Jan and all others and to release all of them.

This is to demand the publication of the judicial commission report on the incident and implementation on the recommendations. The Judicial commission was established by the GB government to investigate the whole incident. The report was never published.

First signatures

- Sébastien Abbet, student, MPS, Suisse
- Gilbert Achcar, Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, UK
- Karamat Ali, executive director Pakistan Institute of Labour Research and Education (PILER), Pakistan
- Mick Armstrong, Socialist Alternative, Australia
- Özlem Barin, Socialisme 21, Belgium
- Jean Batou, Member Geneva Parliament and Professor, Lausanne University, Switzerland
- Christopher Beck, choreographer, The Netherlands
- Olivier Besancenot, spokesperson, Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste (NPA), France
- Sandra Bloodworth, Editor Marxist Left Review, Australia
- Joseph Bourges, , France
- Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance, Australia
- Patrick Braouezec, Honorary Member of the Parliament, France
- Robert Brenner, Professor Emeritus, University of California Los Angeles, United States
- Raúl Camargo, MP Podemos Madrid, militant of Anticapitalistas, Spain
- J.-M. Cerino, France
- Kunal Chattopadhyay, Professor of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, India
- Oksana Chelysheva, journalist Russia
- Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Theory, School of International Studies, India
- Anuradha Chenoy, Professor, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies, India
- Noam Chomsky, Professor (retired), MIT, Cambridge MA, United States
- Ashok Choudhary, General Secretary, All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), India
- Marijke Colle, biologist, feminist, Belgium
- Léon Crémieux, trade-union activist Sud Aérien/Solidaires
- Committee for Asian Women, Asia
- Confederation of Indonesia People Movement (KPRI), Indonesia
- Annick Coupé, general secretary, ATTAC, France
- Philippe Cyroulnik, Art Critic, France
- Wilfred Dcosta, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), New Delhi, India
- Sushovan Dhar, Radical Socialist, India
- Bernard Dréano, co-foundor, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly International Network
- Alex de Jong, Editor, Grenzelos, The Netherlands
- Enrique de los Reyes, Political Consultant on Peace Process between the RWP-M and the GRP, Philippines
- Nadia De Mond, feminist, activist from Non Una di Meno movement, Italy
- Penelope Duggan, Editor, International Viewpoint
- Patrick Farbiaz, Sortir du Colonialisme, France
- Dianne Feeley, editor, Against the Current magazine, United States
- Elisabeth Ferreira, lawyer, Geneva, Switzerland
- David Finkel, editor, Against the Current magazine, United States
- Nancy Fraser, Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics, New School for Social Research
Vice-President and President Elect, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division
Global Justice Chair, Collège d’études mondiales, Paris
Professor II, Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo
- Odile Hélier, France
- Franck Gaudichaud, Reasercher, Grenoble-Alpes University, France
- Dominique Gérardin, Retraité Lille II University (retired), trade-unionist FSU, France
- Paolo Gilardi, Trade-unionist (teacher), Geneva, Switzerland
- Linuse Jayathilake, Convenear, Left Voice, Sri Lanka
- Samy Johsua, Honorary Professor, Aix Marseille University, France
- Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism Is A Women’s Issue
- Shamim Hhan, quality controller resident in Oman, member Jammu Kashmir National Awami Party, Oman
- François Houtart, Professor, Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales (I.A.E.N.), Ecuador
- Safder Karim Hunzai, accountant, Australia
- Pierre Khalfa, economist, former member du CESE, France
- Sameer Khan, Social Activist, Mozambique
- Olivier Landau, , France
- Dharmasiri Lankapeli, General Secretary, Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions, Sri Lanka
- Francisco Louça, économiste , université de Lisbonne
- Angela Klein, Editor Sozialistische Zeitung (Soz), Germany
- Alain Krivine, former European MP, France
- Gilles Manceron, Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (LDH), France
- Piero Maestri, Communia Network, former provincial counselor Milano, Italia
- Christian Mahieux, Trade-Unionist SUD-Rail [Solidaires], magazine Les Utopiques, France
- Noël Mamère, mayor of Bègles, MP, France
- Soma Marik, women’s movement activist and Associate Professor of History, RKSM Vivekananda Vidyabhavan, India
- Myriam Martin, Ensemble ! spokesperson, France
- Agnès Martel, France
- Gustave Massiah, membre du Conseil international du Forum social mondial (FSM)
- Katerina Matsa, psychiatre, Greece
- Qalandar Memon, Editor, Naked Punch Review, UK
- Savas Michael-Matsas, écrivain, dirigeant de l’EEK, Greece
- Gippo Mukendi Ngandu, teacher, trade-unionist, Italy
- Muto, Ichiyo, People’s Plan Study Group, Tokyo, Japan
- Antonio Negri, philosophe, Italy
- Ozlem Onaran, Professor of Economics, UK
- Jaime Pastor, politologue, director of Viento Sur, Spain
- Lisa Pelletti Clark, Co-President, International Peace Bureau
- Armelle Perthus, spokesperson, NPA, France
- Giovanni Peta, Italy
- Christine Poupin, spokesperson, NPA, France
- Philippe Poutou, NPA candidate, presidential election 2017, France
- Anne Querrien, sociologue, magazine Multitudes, France
- Mahnaz Rahman, member Women’s Action Forum, Pakistan
- Samina Rahman educationalist, Pakistan
- Nalini Ratnarajah, Human Rights Defender, Sri Lanka
- Alain Raymond, UTOPIA, France
- Zia Ur Rehman - National Coordinator Pakistan Development
- Hans-Peter Renk, solidaritéS, conseiller général, Le Locle, Switzerland
- Réseau Sortir du colonialisme (SDC), France
- Pierre Rousset, Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF), France
- Yohichi Sakai, Japan Revolutionary Communist League (JRCL), Japan
- Pierre Salama, Professor emeritus, Paris XIII University, France
- Catherine Samary, economist, France
- Edgard Sanchez, Partido Revolucionarios de los Trabajadores (PRT), Mexico
- J. B. Sauvage, France
- Jakob Schäfer, trade Union activist, member of ISO, Germany
- Glauber Sezerino, sociologue, association Autres Brésils, France
- Roger Silverman, Newham Momentum, UK
- Jonathan Simmel, parliamentary candidate, Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
- Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Malaysia
- Søren Søndergaard /Soren Sondergaard, Red-Green Alliance in Denmark, Member of the Danish Parliament, Spokesperson on European Affairs, Spokesperson on Human Rights
- Alda Sousa, Porto University, Portugal
- Daniel Tanuro, ecosocialist activist. Member of the LCR, Belgium
- Josette Trat, sociologue and feminist, France
- Juan Tortosa, CADTM-Suisse and SolidaritéS , Suisse
- Eric Toussaint, spokesperson, CADTM-International
- Yannis Tsiomis, Directeur d’études, Professor, Associate Member, EHESS Paris, France
- Marlene Tuininga, Journalist, France
- Christian Tutin, Professeur d’économie, Université de Créteil, France
- Lot van Baaren, FNV Dutch Trade Union Federation, member of the Board, The Netherlands
- Arend van de Poel, Librarian, IIRE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Roseline Vachetta, former European MP, France
- Achin Vanaik, Retired Professor of International Relations, University of Delhi, India
- Christian Varin, NPA, France
- Flavia Verri, Ensemble !, France
- Pedro Vianna, poet, writer, civil society activist, France
- Saltarelli Victoria, trade-union activist, Sud Éducation, France
- Sébastien Ville, Ensemble ! France
- Patrick Viveret, philosophe, France
- Dr Peter Waterman, Senior Lecturer in Politics Programme, Institute of Social Studies (retired), The Hague, The Netherlands
- Thomas Weyts, SAP-LCR Belgium
- Neel Wijethilak, General Secretary, United General Workers Union, Sri Lanka
- Working People Party (PRP), Indonesia