HUNZA: 14 activists belonging to Hunza have been incarcerated for almost 10 years on allegations of rioting and damaging public property in 2011, after police killed two affectees (father and son) of the Attabad Landslide disaster.
The murdered father and son (Sher Ullah Baig and Sher Afzal), residents of Shishkat (Gojal Valley), were part of a group of protesters demanding relief and compensation from government. They had lost their houses and land due to flooding of their village, as the landslide at Attabad blocked the Hunza River.
After the police brutality riots broke out in Aliabad, followed by a clampdown and arrests spree that saw hundreds of people charged, and later released/acquitted.
14 activists, including Baba Jan, a leader of the leftist Awami Workers Party, Alim, Iftikhar Karbalai and others were however given multiple life sentences by an Anti-Terrorism Court.
Baba Jan and all the accused deny the charges and call the decision a political ploy to cripple dissent in the region, by imprisoning political workers.
Families of the incarcerated activists have been demanding freedom for the youth for almost 10 years.
Members of the civil society, political parties and relatives of the incarcerated are now staging a sit-in in Aliabad demanding freedom for the incarcerated activists.