Pakistan Times : UK lawyers raise detained Pak students issue

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

UK lawyers raise detained Pak students issue

'Pakistan Times' Foreign Desk | April 21, 2009

LONDON (UK): Association of UK-based Pakistani Lawyers has raised the issue of detained Pakistani students on terrorism suspicion and has called for due process of law.

In a statement, the APL Chairman Amjad Malik has demanded that British Government must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their respective country’s mission as protected by diplomatic norms and convention and as well as access to their family member(s) to confirm their arrest and well being.

Furthermore, the students be allowed to have access to their attorney of choice as protected by Article 6(3) c of the European Convention on Human Rights 195,and the UK authorities also allow the detained Pakistani students to have a periodical check up with the respective medical officer to ensure they are not tortured.

Malik said the British Government must also ensure that the detained Pakistani students 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,' he said.

Ten of those 12 arrested are Pakistan-born nationals on student visas and one is a UK-born British national. One Afghani national has been transferred to the UK Border and Immigration Agency.

Access to PHC

Another report says that the officials, hailing from Pakistani High Commission (PHC) in London, have been granted permission to meet Pakistani nationals arrested in UK here on Tuesday, Geo news reported.

According to diplomatic sources, some dignitaries of Pakistani High Commission have been permitted to meet the 12 arrested Pakistani nationals in UK who were detained over alleged suspicion of having links with terrorists. The arrested persons comprised 10 Pakistani nationals, one Afghani and one British citizen.

Earlier, despite several endeavors by the officials of Pakistani High Commission (PHC) to have access to under arrest Pakistani nationals, UK government barred them from meet, sources said.

But this time, having allowed PHC’s officials access to under custody Pakistani nationals, UK officials did not belly-out reason for granting permission, sources added. According to UK officials, the access was not being granted, as what they term; 'the issue was sensitive of nature'.