ISLAMABAD: Baloch demonstrators, detained during a rally against “enforced disappearances” in the federal capital, are now being set free following their bail approval, as confirmed by Islamabad police on Sunday.
The release follows a three-day ultimatum issued by the Baloch protesters to Islamabad authorities, demanding the liberation of all students and the withdrawal of cases against them.
Last Wednesday night, Islamabad police employed force and detained Baloch protesters gathered in the capital, protesting against “enforced disappearances.” Originating from Balochistan on December 6, the protest, primarily led by Baloch women, embarked on a long march.
The police’s forceful actions against both Baloch women and men prompted widespread criticism from human rights organizations and political parties. Federal ministers acknowledged that those who traveled from Balochistan to Islamabad were not involved in any violent acts.
Responding to a petition filed by the organizers of the long march against the “unlawful” arrests, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared: “Those who have come to protest must be allowed to do so; it’s their constitutional right.”
In an announcement on X, previously known as Twitter, the Islamabad police stated that during discussions with a cabinet committee formed by the prime minister, the protesters demanded the release of their detained supporters.
The police statement emphasized, “In compliance with legal protocols, bail has been granted to the detained protesters, and they are being released.” It also urged the relatives of the detainees to reach out for information and support to facilitate legal assistance.
Earlier reports from Islamabad police indicated that the court had ordered the release of 163 protesters after approving their bail petitions.