May 1, 2009
Today I have launched a campaign to free the Pakistani students detained in the UK awaiting deportation on national security grounds. The campaign has a dedicated page as above and will include regular updates. The campaign has begun well and I am contacting British politicians to win their support and the British media to secure coverage on this key issue.
I request Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis to help in any way possible be it by passing on this post or website, speaking to a politician or a media contact or posting this post on your facebook page so the campaign can get the support and coverage it needs and deserves. For Facebook users please do attend the Free Pakistani Students Campaign Launch event via link here and send invitations to others and become a fan of Other Pakistan so you can be updated on progress.
Free the Pakistani Students
The ‘Free the Pakistani Students’ campaign led by Wasim Arif seeks the release of the ten Pakistani students who are under detention and to be deported from the UK on national security grounds. It seems that ‘Operation Pathway’ has become ‘Operation Persecute Pakistanis’ given that all ten Pakistani national students were released without charge, yet all have not been allowed to resume their studies. Worse the students have been detained awaiting deportation on a pack of lies it stands to reason given that the police did not charge a single student.
A press release issued by a lawyer for the students Amjad Malik sets out the background and legal position, and is shown below:
Press Note: Detained Pakistani Students at Manchester
I was asked by Pakistan High Commisison to represent 4 out of 10 Pakistani national students currently detained at Manchester prison who are threatened of deportation on national security grounds.
They are being deported on grounds of posing threat to national security of UK as being concerned in islamic extremist activities and for the reason that they were investigated under terrorism Act 2000 since 8 april 2009. Though no charges were brought under criminal proceedings and on 21 April, they were released from criminal invetigation to UK Border Agency who initiated immigration deportation proceedings.
If they choose to appeal their deportation orders, they will have a free standing right of appeal before ‘Special Immigration Appeals Commission’ which was set up under SIAC Act 1997.
I can confirm that legal team along with Pakistani Consul General Mr. Masroor Junejo and Welfare Attache Mr. Amir Nisar Ch met all detained students at Manchester namely; Mr. Shoiab Khan, Abdul Wahab Khan, Tariq Ur Rehman and Abid Naseer who all are well and instructed Amjad Malik, a Supreme Court Solicitor-Advocate and life member of SCBA (Pakistan) to file their appeals which have been lodged with the required court with effect from 28 April 2009.
Appeals are lodged on the grounds that:
a. That appellants are racially discriminated being Pakistani nationals and being Muslims; and That it would be against appellant’s rights under ECHR for UK to remove or deport the appellant from the United Kingdom because of that decision under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (Art.3,5,6, 8,9,10,14);
b. That the appellant appeals to SIAC on the following general grounds;That Home Secretary has not put forward any concrete evidence in her contention that the appellants are a threat to ‘national security’ of the UK; and or even if there is any reason to support that contention, the proper course of action would be to charge the appellant and brought them before the court of law in a criminal proceedings, but such proceedings has never been ensued and no charges were put forward by the CPS; Therefore it is appellants case on the limited information available to their defence that there is no evidence to support any charges and the arrest, detention and continuing incarceration is unlawful, and unreasonable; and without any substance;
c. That the appellant has been subjected to a one sided media trial at that time appellants were incommunicado without a lawyer, consulate access and without a phone call to their family;
d. That, in the circumstances appellant feels that they have been made a scapegoat and immigration decision is but an effort to avoid answers to questions on the failure of the operation ‘pathway’ in order to divert attention from their innocence as the appellant feel that they are ‘innocent’ until ‘proven guilty’ by a court of law.
First hearing of all 10 students appeal is likely to be set in first 2 weeks of May.
All 4 students are kept in highly secure ‘category A’ at Manchester prison on the orders of UK Border Agency.
Our first priority was to ensure that their appeals are lodged in time. Further matters of their case progress & strategy will be decided in next week by a panel of eminent lawyers in consultation with all stake holders including their bail application(s) which are likely to be heard in the 2nd week of May 09.
The ‘Free the Pakistani Students’ campaign has one demand that the Pakistani students are released and allowed to continue their studies. Furthermore it is our view that in the best interests of good community relations and more importantly good old British justice and fair play it is requested that the students are either released or charged to face a court of law. The present position of the UK government smacks of a disdain for fair play and justice and is not conducive to good community relations with a Pakistani community that increasingly feels under pressure nationally and internationally.