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Pakistan: HRCP condemns campus surveillance at Balochistan University

16 October

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Press release

Islamabad/Quetta, 16 October. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is concerned over allegations that elements associated with the administration at Balochistan University use campus surveillance videos – including those filmed by ‘secret’ cameras – to harass and blackmail students.

HRCP’s recent fact-finding mission to Quetta found an alarming level of surveillance on campus at the university. While this is in place ostensibly for reasons of security, the recent allegations show how easy it is for surveillance to become a tool of harassment, most often at women’s expense. HRCP’s sources claim that the surveillance system is used as a means of moral policing as well as to disrupt any potential or suspected political activism among students, allegedly at the behest of the Frontier Corps personnel who are permanently deployed at the university.

Secret cameras have no place at a university. HRCP supports those students who have called this a gross violation of their privacy and a means of coercion, and welcomes the Balochistan High Court’s decision to take suo moto notice of the matter. The Commission also urges the university administration to identify and penalise the perpetrators.

On behalf of Dr Mehdi Hasan

Chairperson

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)