Court orders deportation of detained Tajik boys -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Court orders deportation of detained Tajik boys

PESHAWAR, May 28: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday ordered deportation of two Tajik boys who had allegedly been in illegal detention at Peshawar Central Prison for more than six months.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Jehanzeb Raheem and Justice Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik directed a trial court to return the passports and other documents of the two detained boys so that they could be deported.

The two detainees, Hafiz Ghafoor Bakhtiar and Mohammad Habib, were arrested last year by Railway police on charges of illegal stay in Pakistan and were convicted by a local court. They had completed their prison term on Oct 20 last year but continued to remain in jail.

A habeas corpus petition was filed on behalf of the two detained boys by chairman of World Prisoners Relief Commission, Jawed Ibrahim Paracha, stating that the two boys had undergone their prison term and now they had been in illegal detention.

Advocate Qazi Mohammad Anwer appeared for the detained boys and stated that both of them were about 16 years of age. He stated that they came to Pakistan to get religious education.

The counsel stated that after completion of their course they were leaving for Karachi for onward journey to Tajikistan, but were arrested by Railway police in Peshawar on Oct 6, 2007. He added that they were charged under section 14 of the Foreigners Act.

Mr Anwer contended that the court convicted both the boys on Oct 17 and sentenced them to 11 days imprisonment with fine of Rs2,000 each in default of which they had to undergo two days more imprisonment.

The counsel stated that they had completed their prison term on Oct 20 and since then they had been languishing in the prison without any crime. He added that the special branch police had in November last sent their case to NWFP Home Department, which stated that as they had no complete documents, therefore, they could not be deported.

Officials of Railway police including SSP Saadat Hussain, SHO Anwarullah and Inspector Hassan Khan also appeared. They claimed that when they arrested the two detainees they were not having proper visas or stay permits.

An official of the prison department informed the court that the detainees were not having passports and travel documents. He added that when they were provided passports then the prison administration would let them go to their countries.

Jawed Ibrahim Paracha told the court that he would make travelling arrangements for the two detained boys.
Source: Dawn
Date:5/29/2008