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SHC moved against detention of Dr Afiya

Right activists filed petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) against the continuous detention of Dr Aafiya and her two children by the US authorities.

Intekhab Alam Suri and Imran Ahmed of Human Rights Network said that Dr Aafiya, a resident of Karachi, along with her three children was allegedly kidnapped by the law enforcement agencies from Gulshan-e-Iqbal Karachi in March 2003 when she was leaving for Rawalpindi from her mother’s house.

The petitioners alleged the US agencies – CIA and FBI – were also involved in such operation and submitted that threats were issued to Dr Afiya’s family to remain silent over the abduction otherwise their lives could be in danger.

They said the detainees were handed over to the US agencies by Pakistani LEAs in violation of the Constitution. The counsel of petitioner Iqbal Aqeel said that the detainees were not produced before any court of law in Pakistan and on pointation of British journalist Yvonne Ridley this year that detainee Dr Afiya was detained in Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan the US authorities due to pressure of rights organisation falsely shown arrest of Dr Afiya in Afghanistan and booked her in a false case.

Dr Afiya, who studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, and did her PhD in genetics, is now facing trial in US for allegedly attacking US soldiers in Afghanistan.The counsel said the Pakistani government had failed to fulfil the requirements of its undertaking rendered before the court of law in a case regarding extradition of Yousuf Ramzi to the US in 1997 as the government law officer undertook that the government will make all efforts to protect the lives and liberties of the citizens in accordance with the law. He said that handing over of Dr Afiya to the US was amount to sale of Pakistani citizen and violation of law of the land.

He said one son of Dr Afiya Mohammad Ahmed Khan was released by the US authorities while the whereabouts of her two children Mohammad Suleman and baby Marium were still unknown and the kidnapping case was also brought into the knowledge of IG Sindh and federal government.

It was argued by the counsel that the government has disrespected the nation by kidnapping the family of a detainee and a case be registered against the people involved in the kidnapping of Dr Afiya and her children.

The counsel contended that the US courts have no authority for the trial without fulfilment of lawful extradition formality and the detainees should be handed over to the Government of Pakistan.

Naming the Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Sindh Home Department as respondents the court was prayed to direct them to give explanation for violation of fundamental rights and responsible persons involved in kidnapping of Dr Afiya and her children be tried by the court of law. The petitioners also prayed to the court to direct the government to make arrangements for protection and release of detainees from the US.
Source: The News
Date:1/18/2008

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