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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Amjad_Malik
Full Name: Amjad Malik
User since: 15/Jun/2007
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UK Lawyers raised detained Pak students issue with UK's Premier

 

Association of Pakistani Lawyers, a team of Pakistani origin lawyers, Solicitors, Barristers, Judges in UK has raised the issue of detained Pakistani students at Manchester on terrorism suspicion and has called for due process of law. The letter dated 20 April 09 reads that on 8 April 2009, Manchester based police Officers arrested 12 men in parallel raids at 10 addresses across Manchester, Liverpool and Clitheroe, Lancashire. Operation Pathway was rushed into action early on Wednesday evening following accidental breach of security by a Govt official. Twelve men were arrested in the north west of England. Ten of those arrested are Pakistan-born nationals on student visas and one is a UK-born British national. Their precise ages are not known but likely to be ranging between mid-to-late teens and a 41-year-old man. Greater Manchester Police said several hundred officers were involved in the operation, including armed officers during some of the arrests. Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, head of the North West CTU said: "Today's action is part of a continuing investigation and we have acted on intelligence received. Prime Minister himself issued a statement after those arrests saying that police have foiled ‘a very big terrorist plot’ with a hope to have intercepted a big gang.  Nothing concrete have come to light so far. Those detained has been remanded into custody and are under investigation. There is no information whether they have been able to access their local consulate, lawyer of their choice and or their families to alert them of the happenings.

 

APL reiterated that Clause 29 of the Magna Carta ensures that ‘no freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or have his liberties removed but by lawful judgement of his peers’. This 800 years old tradition is mirrored in Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 where it was pledged that “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law” and due process of law and fair trial were considered as the basic ingredient of a citizen’s freedom. APL believes that British courts have played genuinely a praiseworthy role by separating the chaff from grain. They ensured that due process of law, fair trial and citizen’s liberties remain intact whilst govt ensures to protect the public and look after the interest of the state. Life would be miserable if on the basis of fear, further fear is created and these liberties which were achieved by continuous sacrifices of our ancestors are lost on the basis of some threats of a few fanatic and thugs, who are, and will remain in a small minority. Looking at the treatment of missing persons where hundreds were handed over to CIA by Pakistani  regime & military authorities in exchange of dollars without due process of law in the absence of any extradition treaty without a judicial oversight and USA’s military trials in Guantanamo bay, and water boarding, its very reassuring that whatever the case may be British subjects are safe in securing their basic human rights such as right to have an attorney, free trial, innocent until proven guilty and right to liberty through its free, independent, robust and pro justice Civil and Constitutional Courts.

 

APL demanded that:

 

1.    Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their respective country’s mission as protected by diplomatic norms and convention;

2.    Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their family member(s) to confirm their arrest and well being;

3.    Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their attorney of choice as protected by Article 6(3) c of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950;

4.    Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have a periodical check up with the respective medical officer to ensure they are not tortured;

5.     Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their basic human rights such as right to have a free and fair trial believing them innocent until proven guilty and their right to liberty must be protected through its free, independent, Civil and Constitutional Courts. If there is any evidence against them, they be allowed to face a trial by charging them rather than keeping them under administrative detention where nothing is known and one sided media trial takes place on limited information.

 

The statement further said that APL believes that  9/11 was the most tragic incident in this decade which brought so much hatred; vengeance along with it, as well as, it brought the ancient civilisations on to a flash point where tolerance and forbearance was lost somewhere down the line.  Pakistanis as a nation suffered a great loss not only economically but physically. Its army has lost around a thousand soldiers and thousands civilians lay their lives and scores got injured and displaced as a result of their active participation in the north of their country bordering areas of Afghanistan. Pakistani community on the whole condemn terrorism in any form or shape and firmly believe in civil and political emancipation of people by protecting its own heritage and culture, and we seek international community’s cooperation to acknowledge such drive of the community, and allow such treatment which is befitting to its role, or at least reciprocal to the treatment British citizens get in Pakistan.  In the end APL hoped that Prime Minister will look into this matter as a matter of extreme urgency and its representations will be given due weight in the interest of public in order to promote rule of law, justice for the minority community who is under hardship since 9/11.

 

Amjad Malik,
Chair

Association of Pakistani Lawyers (UK)
 
20 April 2009
 
Office Address
149a DRAKE STREET
ROCHDALE, UK,
OL11 1EF

TEL: 00 44 1706 346 011
FAX: 00 44 1706 346012
MOBILE: 00 44 7770 983308
EMAIL:
APLRochdale@aol.com

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