Islamabad: School students roughed up and arrested for protesting silently on Margalla Road - Received from the Emergency mailing list
Yesterday, 12th November, the regime crossed a new threshold by shamelessly attacking, arresting and detaining schoolchildren in Islamabad. A group of students, most of them between 14 and 18 years of age, was silently walking outside a public park as a sign of protest when it was accosted by Islamabad Police. The Police told the students that they needed special approval from the magistrate’s office to walk any further and that they had to wait until such approval or the magistrate himself arrived. The students, unwilling to challenge the police, obliged and sat down where they were. Twenty minutes later, the students were informed that they did not have permission to proceed any further, and were asked to return to their starting point and disperse. Once again, the students obliged, showing that they did not want to confront the Police who had clearly been given specific orders from above.
As they were walking back, the students were surrounded by more than 500 policemen –their ranks now reinforced with Punjab Police and the commandos of the Anti-Terrorist Force –and were asked to disperse immediately. When some of the students pointed out that they were merely walking back to their starting point, as previously ordered, the Police turned violent. They started manhandling the children and charging them with batons, pushing them into police vans. 48 boys were physically assaulted and detained, amongst them a 12-year old boy. Even after they had turned themselves in without resistance, many of them were beaten with sticks and severely bruised. They were detained in the Margalla Police Station for hours, and were prevented from meeting visitors or making calls. They were eventually released after they had signed written assurances not to attend protests in the future. This is another shameless act by an increasingly brutal regime. We must not allow this to go on.
Protest against Martial Rule
14th November, 3.30 pm Aabpara Chowk, Islamabad
In the form of flower and black band show
WEAR A BLACK BAND TO PROTEST against state oppression, the suspension of civil rights, the treatment meted out to judges, journalists and students
BRING A FLOWER TO PAY HOMAGE to the judges, lawyers, journalists, politicians, human rights activists, teachers and students who have been arrested, detained or assaulted for standing up to this illegal and oppressive regime.
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