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Egyptian women to sue police for recovery of items

By Ali Hazrat Bacha

PESHAWAR: Five Egyptian women who were released from the Haripur jail on Thursday have decided to move the court against police for recovery of their household items, foreign currency, computers and other valuables.

Accompanied by the women, former Pakistan Muslim League-N MNA and World Prisoners Relief Commission chairman Javaid Ibrahim Paracha told a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday that police had arrested the Egyptians under 14 Foreigners’ Act on May 26 from Haripur where they were teaching Quran to the people.

A local court of judicial magistrate, he said, had imprisoned the women along with the head of the family, Ashraf, under the 14 Foreigners Act for staying illegally in the country. A two-member bench of the Peshawar High Court had ordered release of the women on completion of their term on Sept 24.

The family head, Mr Paracha said, was yet to be released. He said the area people had spread rumours that he was brother of Aiman Alzawari and member of Al Qaeda.

Mr Paracha had represented Ambal Alsyed, her four daughters, Asma, Zuhra, Villa and Safia, and six-month-old Anus, in the court.

He said police had admitted before the media that they had recovered dollars and many other things from the family. He said officials concerned were bound to return the items now as the family was leaving the country.

“If police failed to return the dollars, computers, Quranic research work, dowries of the girls and other valuable household items worth lakhs of rupees, we will sue police to recover all the items,” he said.

Mr Paracha said if officials of the interior ministry failed to produce documents about the involvement of Mr Ashraf in terrorist acts, he would submit an application in the court for his release.

He said the girls had learnt Quran by heart at Al-Azhar University, Egypt, and their father was a computer engineer who had devoted his life to the teaching of Islam and had done nothing wrong.

Answering a question, he said the women would be deported soon after the government prepared relevant documents for them. He said they would stay at his residence till preparation of the documents by the interior ministry.

About the support of different embassies to their citizens in such conditions, he said no embassy was supporting the people, claiming that some embassies were even not ready to accept their citizens.

Those who were denied entry into their homelands were accommodated by the Pakistan government in Karachi for some time and then sent to countries of their choice on valid documents, he added.At present, he said some women prisoners of Turkey, Germany and Nepal were also languishing in different jails of the country.

“Most of the foreigners had been arrested for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities, but the charges proved to be false,” he claimed.

“We have got released over 2,500 Muslim foreigners and 500 non-Muslim foreigners from different prisons of the country and are trying for release of the remaining 3,000 foreigners,” the chairman of the World Prisoners Relief Commission said.

Most of the missing people in the country, he said, belonged to the NWFP or Balochistan and 200 had been recovered after reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

He said one of the reasons for action against the chief justice by then president Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf was that the CJ was against illegal confinement of innocent people.
Source: Dawn
Date:9/26/2009

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