Violence is the Only Answer – Peaceful Protest turns Deadly

Amal Hamza Ameer

Missing persons is a generic term used in Pakistan to refer to the supposedly convicted people who have been arrested for the purpose of interrogation. Hundreds of people in Pakistan who have forcefully disappeared after having been accused of assisting terrorist organizations or having links with wrong activities. The term Missing Person also includes people who were secretly abducted, but whose tortured dead bodies were found a few days later. In some cases, the court has demanded that the officials concerned allow the person in their custody to appear before the court. However, immediately after the court verdict, their dead bodies are found by their relatives. And in many cases no traces of the person can be found.

Amna Masood Janjua is a social worker who founded DHR (Defence of Human Rights and Public Service Trust) after the disappearance of her husband Masood Janjua on 30th July 2005.DHR (Defence of Human Rights and Public Service Trust) is one of the few human rights activist organizations founded by the victims of the violation of human rights. The organization is registered under Trust Act 1882 of Pakistan.

The families of the victims under this trust have been seen carrying peaceful protests on numerous occasions across the country under the leadership of Ms. Amna Masood Janjua. A similar protest was being carried out today at D Chowk, Islamabad. The agenda of the protest was to make the government recall their promises made to the families of the missing persons about cases which have been piled on over the years in the courts. The protest included, children as young as 7 months, ladies, men and elderly citizens of the country.

When a few of the protesters (approximately 4) gathered with Amna Janjua to get their statement recorded in front of the parliament they were stopped by police officials, who did not just use their hands and fists to block them, tear gas was fired on the families and protestors not considering the ages of the people and their peaceful gathering in a small tent. The brutality did not end there, air firing, was also seen being carried out by these ‘law protectors’. All belongings of these protestors, their tents, mats, pictures, banners were ripped off and thrown into police vans.

Amna Janjua was dragged across the road by lady police who did not control their hands while dragging her she was punched kicked, and her hijab was pulled off. Other ladies from the protest came ahead to stop these police officers and had the same treatment. They were thrown into police vans like sheep. The bloody massacre was seen on D Chowk where our law enforcers/protectors showed their true colours, they attacked the protestors and treated them like animals; pushing, punching, kicking, abusing and thrusting is a normal practice in today’s law being used in Pakistan.

Amna Janjua including 13 other protestors (family members of the missing persons) have being arrested and shifted into police stations and FIR’s are being filed against them. The family members of the victims after seeing their leader mistreated have gathered again on the footpaths’ and roads of D Chowk demanding all those arrested to be released and their voices are heard. And as this country fails to give justice the lights of D Chowk have been shut down on the protestors to enable them to disperse.

The media who were on ground reporting the story were also attacked by the police, were warned to stop broadcasting the situation that was taking place on the location. The reporters were hit, cameras thrown and abusive language was showered upon them. It seems freedom of speech and right to justice can only be made if the opinion to be voiced matches the minds of the ‘GODS’ of this country.

Are we really going to evolve towards a better Pakistan in this life time? Looking at the current trend, democracy seems dictated too.

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2 Responses to "Violence is the Only Answer – Peaceful Protest turns Deadly"

  1. Yulia says:

    Deadly? Where’s the deadly in this?

    This is what happens to families of traitors. Our weak judicial system has been letting these traitor go in the absence of witnesses who are usually scared of these traitors. Eventually they had to be put down.

    How do you justify this? Well US does it throughout the world. We are just their “ally” cleaning our own grounds and obviously there’s going to be collateral damage but hey, its for the greater good. Propaganda Article! Fail!

  2. Jacob Watson says:

    @Yulia – it is troubling to see such extreme right-wing views being expressed by you. Such vile and hatred riddent views are becoming prevalent through the propaganda of the establishment – views which are devoid of basic humanity and human compassion. The Judicial system right from the top down as witht the government are instruments of abuse, and misuse in a corrupt country like Pakistan. Many innocent people and their families, especially from the weak and poor, are being abused and their causes disregarded by a culture which has been fostered in Pakistan by the ruling elite – that of haves and have nots! If you are in the establishment or part of it, the state, army, security forces and judiciary are there to protect you no matter how criminal one may be, however, if you are not part of this select elite, it does not matter whether you are a innocent or not, you are guilty and you are nothing, not even a statistic.

    The reckoning of all oppressors will soon come to bear, very soon and those being opppressed must carry on the struggle like this brave lady Amina Masood!

    Peace for all!

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