After the British Empire withdrew from the Indian Subcontinent in 1947, the region was divided into two new states: India and Pakistan. In this context, the autonomous and mineral rich region of Balochistan also declared its independence, but was occupied by Pakistan a year later. Ever since, the Pakistani army has brutally suppressed any call for autonomy by the Baloch people, resorting to what Amnesty International calls the ‘kill and dump’ policy, whereby ethnic Baloch are abducted and killed. Their bodies are eventually dumped, often far from where they initially disappeared and bearing marks of torture.
Censored movie on Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan
The Line of Freedom
The film ‘The Line of Freedom’ tells the true story of a Baloch student, Nasir Dagaarzai, who was interrogated and tortured by the Pakistani Military, then later shot and dumped in the desert. Incredibly though, he survived this first abduction and was able to tell his story.
Days after he went missing, Nasir was found in a critical condition next to the dead body of a friend. He was taken to Quetta for serious treatment and was able to eventually recover from his wounds. He was frequently visited by intelligence agencies while he was in hospital so his family, fearful for his safety, took him home. Months later Nasir was on the way to Quetta for a medical check-up, when he and his brother were taken from the bus by intelligence agency personnel and loaded into a car. Nasir’s mutilated body was found months later near Quetta.
Unfortunately, Nasir is just one of thousands of ethnic Baloch who, since 2003, have been abducted by the Pakistani military, many of them students, activists, doctors, lawyers and journalists.
The release of this film made public the ongoing human rights violations in Balochistan in such a way that the Pakistani government has blocked any link to the film that exists, including YouTube and Vimeo, as well as its page on IMDb. Digital Rights Foundation, an anti-censorship organization in Pakistan condemns the censoring of the film and demands that the government stop interfering with citizens’ access to information.
Please share this movie with your contacts to spread the word of the horrendous practices that are occurring in Balochistan and the government’s censoring of this information.