International campaign continues: release our Pakistani comrades!

The international campaign demanding the release of our comrades, who were abducted by the Rangers in Karachi on 22 April, continues to build. There have been demonstrations at Pakistani embassies all over the world, and our official petition has acquired thousands of signatories, including from some prominent figures from the political left and trade union movement. Here, we provide an update on the solidarity campaign's latest activities.

Click here for the latest information on the abductions, a letter to send to your local Pakistani embassy and a model motion for trade union branches and student groups.

Brazil

We received a solidarity message from the teachers' union APP. Additionally, comrades from Esquerda Marxista in Brazil picketed the Pakistani embassy in Rio de Janeiro, demanding the immediate release of the abductees in Karachi:

Rio Pakistan

USA

Socialist Revolution, the Marxists in the USA, protested the Pakistani consulate in New York City. They also sent in solidarity photos from Oakland, California; Ames, Iowa and Boulder, Colorado:

USA PAKISTAN 1

USAPAKISTAN 2

USA PAKISTAN 3

usa pakistan 4

New York branch Pakistan

usa pakistan 5

Colorado Pakistan

A solidarity motion was also passed, and photograph taken, by the Paterson DSA branch in New Jersey:

Paterson DSA

Comrades staged a demonstration in front of the Pakistan Consulate in Chicago in solidarity with the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement and demanding the immediate release of the seven abducted comrades. They created and distributed a leaflet explaining the situation and printed a letter with our demands to the Consul General in Chicago, with a space for supporters to sign.

Venezuela

A Caracas branch of Lucha de Clases sent a solidarity photograph for the abducted comrades:

Caracas Pakistan

Mexico

In Mexico, the following left-wing and labour organisations signed our petition:

  • La Izquierda Socialista (IMT Méxco)
  • Comité de Lucha Estudiantil del Politécnico (CLEP)
  • Liga de Mujeres Revolucionarias
  • Juventudes Marxistas
  • Frente de Escuelas Democráticas Febrero 25 (FEDEF-25)
  • Federación de Estudiantes Democráticos (FED)

Students at the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico sent their solidarity to the arrested Pakistani comrades, as did the well-known, left-wing writer and activist, Paco Ignacio Taibo II:

Mexico Pakistan 1

Mexico Pakistan 2

The comrades also picketed their embassy:

Canada

Amir Khadir, Québec Solidaire member of the National Assembly of Quebec, sent a letter to the Pakistani Consulate demanding the immediate release of our comrades:

 Quebec letter

The comrades of Socialist Fightback at York University assembled to show their solidarity:

York U Pakistan

Fightback also paid a visit to the Consulate in Toronto:

Germany

The Alzey branch of Linksjugend ['solid] (the youth organisation of Die Linke) expressed its solidarity with our abducted comrades:

Germany 2 Pakistan

Switzerland

As reported yesterday, the Swiss Marxists protested the Pakistani embassy in Bern and the United Nations building in Geneva:

Thurgau Pakistan

Spain

National spokesman for the Andalusian Trade Union of Workers, Óscar Reina, recorded a message in solidarity with the IMT comrades disappeared in Pakistan:

The comrades in Madrid sent a solidarity photograph for the abducted activists:

Madrid Pakistan

We have received a number of new prominent signatories in Spain, including:

  • Jorge Martínez Crespo, responsable de Movimientos Sociales de IU Madrid
  • Henar Moreno Martínez, del Secretariado del Partido de la Izquierda Europea (European Left)
  • Javier Couso, MEP, United Left

Denmark

The Danish comrades picketed their Pakistani embassy, where they were harassed and filmed by officials:

Catalonia

Vidal Aragonés, CUP member of the Catalan Parliament, added his voice to the chorus of protest. IMT comrades from the Barcelona branch of REVOLUCIÓ also took a solidarity photo:

Catalonia Pakistan

Britain

Veteran class fighters from the Merseyside Pensioners' Association, who participated in the struggle against Margaret Thatcher, passed the following, unanimous statement of soldiarity with the abducted comrades:

The MPA notes that seven prominent youth and trade union activists have been disappeared in Karachi by the Army and Sindh Rangers, a paramilitary state department notorious for extra-judicial killings. Nobody has been told about their whereabouts so far and no case has been registered against them.

These activists, were arrested because they joined the solidarity protest of Pashtun Tahafuz (Protection) Movement (PTM) in front of the Karachi Press club.The protest was organized and called by the leadership of the PTM as they were being denied the right to hold a peaceful public meeting in Lahore.

The MPA demands the immediate release of these seven activists abducted by the Pakistan Army. Their only crime is to have expressed their views about the Pakistani State and supported the PTM. We also insist that the demands of the PTM be accepted immediately and that the State end its atrocities in the tribal areas and stop supporting Islamic fundamentalism.

We resolve to write to the Pakistan ambassador with copies to the foreign secretary & shadow foreign secretary.

Italy

Yesterday, the Italian section of the IMT, Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione, made interventions raising the abduction of our comrades at April 25 rallies celebrating of the fall of fascism in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Modena, Parma, Pavia, Padua, Naples, and other towns:

Pavia Pakistan

Parma Pakistan

The comrades also contacted the Pakistan embassy in Rome asking for an urgent meeting. The response was that the officials have applied to the Ministry in Pakistan and are waiting for an answer, but at the moment they are not in a position to grant an appointment. As the embassy was closed yesterday due to the national holiday, a picket will be organized in the coming days, which will require police permission.

We publish here a list of the first signatories from Italy. The comrades also collected other signatures in yesterday's rallies:

  • Eleonora Forenza, an Italian Member of the European Parliament, part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group
  • Claudio Bellotti (spokesperson of the electoral list “For a Revolutionary Left”)
  • Mario Iavazzi (National Committee, Cgil)
  • Alessandro Giardiello (National Execeutive, Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione)
  • Alessio Marconi (National Executive Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione)
  • Paolo Brini (Central Committee Fiom-Cgil, metalworkers’ union)
  • Gianplacido Ottaviano (Central Committee Fiom-Cgil and factory committee Bonfiglioli Bologna)
  • Domenico Loffredo (Fca-FIAT Pomigliano D’Arco – Fiom Naples)
  • Paolo Grassi (National Committee unemployed workers’ union Nidil-Cgil)
  • Margherita Colella (National Committee School Workers’ Union, Flc-Cgil)
  • Sonia Previato (Editor, Rivoluzione)
  • Serena Capodicasa (Editorial Board, Falcemartello)
  • Franco Bavila (Lombardy Regional Committee, Bank Workers’ Union, Fisac-Cgil)
  • Daniele Prampolini (Fiom Provincial Committee, Modena)
  • Piero Ficiarà (Fiom Provincial Committee, Modena)
  • Luca Paltrinieri (Fiom Provincial Committee, Modena and Netscout factory committee)
  • Giuseppe Violante (Fiom-Cgil Modena and Maserati shop stewards’ committee)
  • Matteo Parlati (Fiom-Cgil Modena and Ferrari shop stewards’ committe)
  • Giuseppe Faillace (Fiom Provincial Committee, Modena and Motovario factory committee)
  • Luca Acquarico (Fiom Provincial Committee, Modena)
  • Francesco Favalli (Sempre in Lotta student coordinating committee)
  • Davide Bacchelli (Fiom-Cgil Bologna provincial committee and shop steward at IMA factory)
  • Gian Pietro Montanari (Fiom-Cgil Bologna provincial committee and Toyota factory committee)
  • Gianluca Sita (Fiom-Cgil shop steward at IMA factory)
  • Domenico Minadeo (Fiom shop stewards’ committee Metaltarghe plant, Bologna)
  • Massimo Pieri (Shop steward in Tas plant, Casalecchio di Reno and Fiom-Cgil Bologna provincial committee)
  • Beatrice Bonaldo (Marxist Study Group at University of Milan)
  • Luca Ibattici (Rsu Spal Shop steward committee, Reggio Emilia, and Regional Committee Fiom Emilia Romagna)
  • Davide Ledda (Cft shop steward, and Fiom-Cgil Parma provincial committee)
  • Arianna Mancini (Usb Asl Roma)
  • Diego Sabelli (Elt shop steward and Fiom-Cgil Rome provincial committee)
  • Vincenzo Chianese (Ergom shop steward, Caserta, and Fiom-Cgil Campania Regional Committee)
  • Marco Mussini (Fiom-Cgil Reggio Emilia committee)
  • Emilio Di Lorenzo (Marxist Study Group, Naples University)
  • Angelo Raimondi (shop steward Esselunga supermarket Corbetta-Milan, and Lombardy Regional Committee Filcams-Cgil)
  • Davide Longo (Collettivo Varese Rossa)
  • Antonio Forlano (UPS shop steward and Filt-Cgil Lombardy |Regional Committee)
  • Laura Parozzi (UPS shop steward Vimodrone, Milan and Filt-Cgil provincial committee)
  • Cinzia Crespi (UPS shop steward Vimodrone, Milan and Filt-Cgil provincial committee)
  • Barbara Lietti (Shop steward at Sacco Hospital, Milan and Lombardy regional committee Civil Service Union-Cgil)
  • Antonio Esposito (shop steward Slc-Cgil, Almaviva, Naples)
  • Fulvio Beato (USB Private Sector, Caserta)
  • Simona Leri (Shop steward, Coop Alleanza 3.0, Filcams-Cgil Modena provincial committee)
  • Joan Valdiviezo (shop steward Filt-Cgil Italgroup depot, UPS Milan)
  • Jeisson Zuniga (shop steward Filt-Cgil Planet depot, UPS Milan)
  • Luca Pezza (shop steward at Michelin plant, and Filctem-Cgil Milan provincial committee)
  • Fiammetta Fossati (shop steward at Etipak and Fiom-Cgil, Milan)
  • Davide Tognioni (shop steward Rolo local council, Reggio Emilia and FP-Cgil)
  • Ilic Vezzosi (Cgil, Reggio Emilia provincial committee)
  • Marco Paterlini (shop steward Olmo, Reggio Emilia and FP-Cgil)
  • Alessio Sammartino (Filcams-Cgil, Rome provincial committee)
  • Lidia Luzzaro (Nidil-Cgil Cosenza provincial committee)
  • Serenella Ricci (Lombardy regional committee Fisac-Cgil)
  • Lorenzo Esposito (Shop steward, Banca D’Italia, Milan)
  • Sergio Schneider (Shop steward Flc-Cgil, Milan)

Greece

In Greece, the following prominent figures have added their names to our petition:

  • Coordination Committee of ANTARSYA – EC member of the Federation Unions of the workers in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
  • Giorgos Ortantzoglou – EC member of the workers union in municipality of N. Filadelfia
  • Gianna Katsiampoura, General Secretary of the Union of Teachers in the Hellenic Open University
  • Ilias Loizos, retired, former chairman of the Union of Workers in the Municipality of Neo Iraklion, Attica, former member of the General Council of POE-OTA (National Federation of Municipal Workers)
  • Manos Skoufoglou, member of the Board of the Panhellenic Association of Architects (Sadas-Pea), member of the Central Coordination Committee of ANTARSYA
  • Taxiarhis Efstathiou, member of the General Council of ADEDY (National Confederation of Public Sector Workers)
  • Panagiotis Tselepis, Chairman of the Union of Workers in the Municipality of Agios Ioannis Renti, Attica
  • Xidis Ioanis - Coordinator of LAE in Cyprus

Furthermore, the Greek comrades protested outside the Pakistani embassy in Athens:

Nepal

Our comrades in Nepal wore photographs of the abducted Pakistani Marxists and publicly protested their disappearance:

Czech Republic

The state abductions in Pakistan was raised at a young unionist meeting in Prague. Some of the attendees agreed to take a photo to show their international solidarity, and draw attention to the case:

Czech Pakistan

Indonesia

Comrades in Indonesia publicly protested the abduction of PYA and RWF activists by the Rangers:

Indonesia 1

Indonesia 2

Indonesia 3

Furthermore, the following Indonesian trade unions, student organizations, and other activist groups have signed our petition condemning the abduction of socialist activists for their solidarity activity with the Pasthun people, and demanding their immediate release:

1. Militan Indonesia

2. Indonesia United Workers Confederation (KPBI, Konfederasi Persatuan Buruh Indonesia)

3. Committee of People's Struggle (KPR, Komite Perjuangan Rakyat)

4. The National Central of Workers Movement (Sentra Gerakan Buruh Nasional)

5. National Trade Union Confederation (KSN, Konfederasi Serikat Nasional)

6. Federation of Independent Workers' Struggle Union - Gresik (FSPBI-Gresik, Federasi Serikat Perjuangan Buruh Independen)

7. Anti-Capitalist Students Front (Front Mahasiswa Anti Kapitalis)

8. Papua Students Alliance - Surabaya (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua - Surabaya)

9. Central Leadership of Confederation of Congress Alliance of Indonesian Labor Unions (PP Konfederasi KASBI)

10. Christian Youth Union for the Socialist Struggle (SPARTAKUS)

11. SBPBI-FSBRK-KASBI Trade Union

Protests within Pakistan

Finally, there were a number of protests and demonstrations against the abductions in different parts of Pakistan, including Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar, Rawalakot, Buner and Quetta:

However, a large demonstration in Lahore was broken up by the Punjab police, leading to the arrest of over 30 activists, including members of the IMT.

Keep up the pressure!

Comrades' international solidarity has had an effect: four of the abductees have recently been released. However, three remain in the Rangers' custody in Karachi: Bilawal Baloch, Umer Riaz and Mohammed Gulbaz. Not to mention the comrades who have now been arrested by the police in Lahore. Comrades and supporters must keep an international spotlight on the actions of the Pakistani state to ensure all the activists are released unharmed.

The world is watching!

Release our comrades!

Lal Salaam!

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