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Bahrain to Extradite Pashtun Activist, Campaign Launched in His Country Demanding his Release

2020-02-07 - 11:03 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain is to deport a Pakistani resident who is an active advocate of the rights of Pashtuns facing persecution in Pakistan. Supporters of "Geelaman Pashteen" said under a hashtag they launched on social media #DontDeportGeelaman that the Bahraini authorities arrested him and want to extradite him to his country.

They noted that Geelaman works in Bahrain. He is a poet and human rights activist. He has launched campaigns on social media. They also said that Pashteen faces threats in his country due to his activism and that he will be in danger of torture and enforced disappearance in the event he is extradited.

According to information given by his supporters, Pashteen was arrested on Wednesday (February 6, 2020) by the Bahraini security authorities under pretext of a red notice against him from the Interpol. They published photos of him while he was in Bahrain demanding the release of Pakistani Pashtun political prisoners.

Gul Marjan, a Pakistani blogger, called on the Bahraini government not to extradite him. Ahmedzay Hamza, another Pakistani blogger, said that "through the arrest of Geelaman Pashteen, Pakistani army wants to intimidate and silence sympathizers with Pashtun," noting that Pashtun insist on demanding their basic rights.

Zahif Pashtin called on all human rights activist to start a campaign on social media outlets asking the Government of Bahrain not to deport Geelaman.

Geelaman Pashteen is born in 1992. He lives in Riffa, southern of Manama. His twitter account is full of political posts demanding the rights of Pashtun and release of their activists.

Pakistan is witnessing clashes between police and members of the minority Pashtun, who founded a movement called the "Pashtun Protection" movement to demand their rights. This movement attracted tens of thousands of people. The group says the army is waging a campaign of intimidation as it fights militants in the country's rugged border area near Afghanistan. It stresses that among the violent tactics the army practices are illegal killing, enforced disappearance and arrests.

The army used random force as it searched for Taliban hideouts in Pashtun-controlled tribal areas, imposing collective punishments such as demolishing the homes of family members of suspect militants and punishing entire villages for extremist attacks.

The main motive for the establishment of  "Pashtun Protection" movement was the 2018 police killing of Naqibullah Mahsud, a 27-year-old Pashtun.

Mahsud was shot dead in the southern port city of Karachi, where many displaced Pashtuns moved there after being displaced by military operations against the Taliban in the tribal areas.

Arabic Version