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Baloch activists condemn detention of leader Mehran Marri

News Agencies | Updated on: 17 November 2017, 10:51 IST

Baloch leaders and activists across the world have condemned the detention of key leader of their struggle, Mehran Marri, by the Swiss authorities at the Zurich Airport.

"The generals of the Pakistan Army and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) are the most deceptive bullies and blackmailers in the world," said Ahmar Mustikhan, a senior journalist and founder of the American Friends of Balochistan (AFB).

Mustikhan asked the Baloch leaders to not delay hiring the best lawyers to counter Pakistan's illegal moves.

"Pakistan generals have looted as much as USD 150 billion in kickbacks, commissions and bribes during arms deals and much of this money is stashed in Swiss bank accounts. This dirty money explains the Swiss action," he added.

France-based Baloch activist Munir Mengal said the Baloch Voice Association condemned the barring of Mehran Marri from entering to Switzerland with his family.

"The detention of Mehran Marri and a lifetime ban on his entry in Switzerland by the authorities is very discouraging and a sorrowful incident. Marri is a secular political pro-independence Baloch leader who has been politically struggling for the independence of occupied Balochistan," Germany based Shafi Burfat, the chief of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), said.

Switzerland based United Kashmir People's National Party activist, Nasir Aziz, said, "I am surprised to know that Mehran Marri, a Baloch Nationalist leader and Human Rights activist, who has been regularly participating in the UNHRC Sessions at Geneva, has been prevented to enter Swiss."

Aziz added that Marri had raised cases of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances in Balochistan in the UNHRC.

Marri was detained by the Swiss authorities at the Zurich airport yesterday. Informing the same, he tweeted, "Friends, I have been detained at Zurich Airport for the last few hours and feel I am under arrest by Swiss authorities on request of the Pakistan Govt. My wife and children are also with me in detention. Don't worry, being detained is nothing new for the Baloch..."

"My father spent many years in far worse conditions, but never have up. The peaceful & legal struggle for an independent #Balochistan free of Pakstani occupation shall continue no matter what the Punjabi generals & babus of that excuse of a country plan. We'll persevere"

He further said, "I have now been informed that I have been placed under a lifetime ban on entering Switzerland at the request of Islamabad. So much for the Geneva UNHRC being the world capital of human rights. I am still in detention at Zurich Airport with my wife and children. Stay tuned 4 more."

The youngest son of the late Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, Mehran Marri, was travelling to Geneva to attend the Baloch unity moot called by his brother-in-law, Brahumdagh Bugti, president of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP).

Brahamdagh, who organised the meeting in Geneva, speaking to ANI on the detention, stated, "It is sad and shocking for me that he was stopped and detained with his family and children."

"I am really shocked how a neutral country like Switzerland can do that. Mehran's visiting the country is not new," Brahamdagh said, adding that the former used to often visit Switzerland "for last 15 years".

Baloch activist Bhawal Mengal also condemned the Pakistani military's "malicious and desperate attempt".

"This is a malicious and desperate attempt by the Pakistani military establishment to malign and curtail the freedom of Baloch representatives, who are working to raise awareness on the worsening situation in Balochistan and Pakistan's crimes against humanity . Developed countries should not be intimidated by Pakistan, which has been an international sponsor of terrorism," Mengal said.

Other than Mehran Marri, his estranged elder brother Hyrbyair Marri, who heads the Free Balochistan Movement, was expected to attend the Baloch unity meeting, that begins this Saturday.

Meanwhile, reports say that Marri has now been released and he, along with his family, has now taken off to London. 


First published: 17 November 2017, 10:51 IST