The significant women’s movement in East Balochistan, Pakistan, led by Dr. Mehrang Baloch since November 23, 2023, accompanied by other Baloch women and girls, protesting against years of genocide, extrajudicial killings, and forced disappearances of the Baloch people by the Pakistani government under the slogan “Resistance is Life,” concluded with a press conference at the Islamabad Press Club on January 23, 2024.
In her concluding remarks, Mehrang Baloch stated regarding the two-month-long protest: “The world has witnessed, all of you have witnessed what has happened to the Baloch people. Balochistan has turned into a factory where your (Pakistani) generals make money. We have exposed the crimes against humanity happening there, and this is our success.” She added, “We are ending the sit-in in Islamabad, but we continue the fight against the genocide of the Baloch. We leave here (Islamabad) with a message of hatred; whatever has happened to us will be remembered.”
Mehrang Baloch, along with hundreds of other Baloch women and girls whose families have fallen victim to the Pakistani government’s genocide, initiated these protests with the aim of drawing global attention and human rights organizations to the issue of the Baloch people. They demanded an end to this cycle of violence by the Pakistani government.
The sit-in began with a 1600-kilometer protest march against the killing of four young Baloch individuals by the Pakistani government in the city of Kech, Balochistan. It transformed into a massive sit-in upon reaching Islamabad, accompanied by the solidarity of all Baloch people in East Balochistan and the unity of all Baloch in West Balochistan, Iran.
The Baloch people residing on the borders of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan face similar challenges due to oppressive systems, particularly from the governments of Iran and Pakistan. Poverty, denial of basic life necessities based on being Baloch, extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearances are common hardships for these people on both sides of the borders.
At 6rang, we consistently emphasise the need for unity and solidarity among oppressed groups, believing that none of us will be free until all of us are liberated. We hold in high regard the resistance and struggle of the Baloch people.
Through this, members of the LGBT+ community express their support and solidarity with the Baloch people on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border. Perhaps better than anyone, they understand the marginalisation and suppression endured for identity and the pursuit of basic human rights. We firmly believe that in an egalitarian and democratic world, all humans, regardless of language, religion, culture, or gender, should have equal rights as citizens. Therefore, we condemn any form of discrimination, massacre, and oppression with these principles.