Double Jeopardy: Arrested Pak students need Justice & Fairness

Pakistani Students arrested in the UKOn 8 April 2009, twelve students mostly Pakistani nationals were arrested at Manchester in a suspicion of terrorism related offences in a rushed police operation ‘Pathway’. At the time of writing this article those detained have been off loaded from ‘terror charges’ to national security considerations on behest of Home Office and are handed over to UK Border Agency. Home office has indicated that they will be removed from UK being a threat to country’s ‘national security’ having maligned in international terrorism. Prime Minister Gordon Brown initially indicated that police have foiled ‘a very big terrorist plot’ Pakistan as a state was subject to a negative media frenzy and individuals and their families were without counsellor access in breach of Art 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 and all those detained were on periodical remand until a decision was made not to charge them within 28 days and they had a limited access to basic rights guaranteed by (ECHR) European Convention on Human Rights 1950 as well as country’s Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1925 (s.25) such as free access to their attorneys, contacting their families, medical check up to avoid torture, interpreters, counsellor service access etc.

If they appeal their deportation orders, they will have a free standing right of appeal before ‘Special Immigration Appeals Commission’ set up in 1999 which is a specialist tribunal adjudicating appeals where a person is considered to be a threat to national security of the country. Tribunal consists of a Senior High Court Judge, one Immigration Judge as a member and one person from KPMG group having experience of dealing with security matters & evidence. Its proceedings are conducted in half camera and half public. In the camera proceedings a Special Advocate is appointed by the Govt to protect the interest of the accused in secret session where all the secret evidence is presented and analysed. It’s a lengthy and a time consuming process and require diligence and hard work if the accused wishes to clear their names. Without winning appeals these students if deported considering them a threat to UK, it will be difficult for them to return to UK, USA and or Europe for further studies or employment in future and even in Pakistan they will be subject to strictest interrogation for their alleged conduct. Therefore we feel that its double punishment for them as UK has not enough evidence to try them, but they are not considering them innocent until proven guilty either, and have labelled them though with a lesser but more deadly global immigration charge of national security threat which acts like a ticking bomb. Person with a threat to country’s security will struggle to get his life back until he has a clean chit from a court of law if he is innocent.

In 1999 when I was conducting first appeal of Special immigration appeals Commission, I was young in the profession and was led by the likes of Sibghat Kadri QC and Nicholos Blake QC. We fought that case as a legal battle being the first case of its kind and fought till the end of course pro bono as no legal aid was available for SIAC cases. We won relief for the accused who was a Minister of Religion working in Oldham. We went till House of Lords, and even took The Lord Chancellor to Court of Appeal for the grant of legal aid [In 1999 R v Lord Chancellor [1999] Ex part Rehman (unreported), Times Law Report on the 8th July 1999]. Despite several unsuccessful effortslegal team never lost heart and continued struggling for fairness, equality & justice to obtain funding in not only his outgoing remitted appeal case of Rehman before SIAC but other cases as a matter of policy. All these efforts were fruitful when Government announced to include extension of legal aid in SIAC proceedings under s.116 of the new Immigration and Asylum act 2002.

Post 9/11 Fundamental human rights are clouded under political public policy where most of our basic human rights are subject to unlimited restrictions and on the discretion of Home Secretary where rights of individuals are up against the issue of public safety and security of the country which is an alarming trend, It also entails risks of ‘miscarriage of justice’. Most of those arrested on terror related charges face enormous difficulties to get their normal life back even after years as trauma never leaves them alone and societal pressure forces unknown prejudice and discrimination out of fear.

International law is very clear on the issue of individual’s liberty 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. Article 6 of the same convention ensures that citizens are guaranteed a fair trial, a right to an interpreter and an attorney to defend themselves if they are to face a charge by a state. Though we are living in Great Britain which claims to be ‘the mother’ of human rights but 9/11 and 7/7 has changed the whole picture. The rights of individuals are scarified slowly at the altar of the rights of a state and on the name of ‘public safety’ we are slowly drifting into a ‘nanny state’ where our each and every action is monitored through thousands of cameras and our email messages and phone calls are taped, though rightly so due to the new fear we are in. But miserably these pieces of evidence are yet to see the court room in any criminal trial which requires positive legislation in the parliament. Due to distrust & lack of international intelligence sharing mechanism often those mails, messages and motions are misinterpreted, and hence we see sudden arrests, media flogging and either mistrial or trial of error. In the end, there is no apology for intelligence failure, no talk to compensating those victims or no regrets, though from Pakistan UK expects to have their death row cases reverted and pardoned, and that’s injustice and unfair treatment and is not equal treatment between states and its citizens.

I must admit British courts despite all clouds played genuinely a praiseworthy role by separating the chaff from grain. They ensured that due process of law, fair trial and citizens liberties remain intact whilst govt ensures to protect the public and judgements in last 10 years post 9/11 are the epitome of such confidence on the courts. However, life would be miserable if we are to live on fear and sacrifice the basic rights and these liberties which were achieved by continuous sacrifices of our ancestors. Threats emanating from a few fanatic or outfit can be defeated by mutual cooperation and sharing the intelligence and pre arrest home work and by making intercepted material as an admissible evidence so as to secure more convictions against those who are involved in such heinous crimes. In the absence of some concrete steps, minority community will carry on living in fear and will be demonised by media on the name of ‘war on terror’, ‘international terrorism’ and ‘islamophobia’.

Those involved in terrorism must face an exemplary punishments but the process must be fair to root out any doubts of ‘miscarriage of justice’ in the minds of the victim community. When I look back I wonder whether under the circumstances can we ever redo these cases pro bono , the answer is ‘difficult’ but ‘possible’ as the stigma attached to lawyers working day in day out in the most sensitive cases around the world defending human rights and values is greater than ever before. Despite all the difficulties, the day we lose the spirit to uphold law, on that very day we leave justifying to remain in the same honourable profession standing on principles of equality, justice and fairness for which our forefathers fought wars.

Amjad Malik is a Solicitor-Advocate of the Supreme Court (England) and has done LLM on national security law and a member of Law Society’s Immigration Law committee and sits on Foreign Office’s pro bono Law panel

This post was submitted by Amjad Malik.

14 thoughts on “Double Jeopardy: Arrested Pak students need Justice & Fairness”

  1. Hey Danial Burki, Amir Mughal, Silence and other Kaley Angrez,

    Looks like your brothers-in-faith, MQM have already started anti-taliban operation in karachi. They have murdered several pashto speaking residents of karachi. But since their murder would be termed 'anti-taliban' operation, you guys would laud it.

  2. Amjad Sahib very good review of the situation and I must admit that most of us are either on the sides of the authorities or against them we hardly can see the situation for those who are caught in these crossfires.

  3. These Paksitanis may be innocent but what about the British Pakistanis that give Pakistan a bad name , such as that Mr MCR Property (original name) closet pufter Aneel Mussarat of Manchester. I hear his phoney property business is based on dirty money from Pakistan that has been robbed from the masses. Anyway I hear a NAB – equivalent to SFO enquiry into Nabeel Mussarat has commenced. This queer bastard needs to be banned from Canal Street and deported to Pakistan he's a danger to the poor queers of Manchester.

  4. MQM is planning for communal distrubance.

    http://www.ummatpublication.com/2009/04/26/story3

    [Dr Jawwad Khan]

    =====================

    Late. Maulana Muhammada Manzoor Naimani was one of the founders of Jamat-e-Islami and one of the reason of his leaving Jamat-e-Islami [many giant Islamic Scholars left Jamat-e-Islami e.g. Maulana Waheeduddin Khan, Maulana Abul Hassan Nadvi, Ameen Ahsan Islahi, Maulana Masood Alam Nadvi, Naeem Siddiqui, Dr Israr Ahmed (he is mystrey like his name) and countless others] was the comrpomise of Late Maulana Mawdudi on Religion and Manhaj [Islam and Manhaj] for the sake of Electoral Politics.

    Late. Maulana Muhammad Manzoor Naumani in his book

    Meri Rafaqat Ki Sargazasht – Maulana Madudoodi Kay Kay Sath Meray Shab O Roz [My Life with Maulana Mawdoodi] preface by Maulana Abul Hassan Ali Nadvi published in 1997 by Majlis-e-Nashariyat-e-Islam, Nazimabad, Karachi – Sindh Pakistan.

    while narrating as to why he quit Jamat-e-Islami, wrote, that in the name of Modus Operandi and Strategy [Tareeqa-e-Kaar and Hikmat-e-Amali] Maulana Mawdudi had compromised

    on many salient features of Islam like any other Secular Political Party. On this Maulana Naimani said Islam's Basic Priniciples cannot be compromised for worldly benefit what to talk of Political Strategy and Maulana Mawududi's wrong step would open the doors of Anarchy [Fitnah] in Pakistan.

    Late. Maulana Naimani was quite right in his opinion on Maudoodi and Jamat-e-Islami. This has now been proved in 2008 when Jamat-e-Islami [whose name is based upon Islam] is now sitting with Qadir Magsi [Sindhi Nationalist], Mehmood Khan Achakzi [Pashtun Nationalist], Afaq Ahmed and Aamir Khan [Muhajir Nationalist], Hamid Gul [Reincarnation of Devil],

    Whereas Jamat-e-Islami criticize PPP for being Secular, PML-N for being Opportunist, MQM for being Fascist and Ethnic Nationalist, Awami National Party for being Ethnic Nationalist and what not.

    Deviant [Gumrah - Kharji] Mawdudi and Deviant [Gumrah

    Aur Khawarij] Jamat-e-Islami and its equally Deviant

    Student Wing IJT main theme is taken from the following verses of Quran:

    1- And there may spring from you a nation who invite to goodness, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency. Such are they who are successful. [The Family of Imran – III (Soorah Aal-e-Imran) Verse 104]

    2- Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of Scripture had believed it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil livers {The Family of 'Imran- III (Soora Al-Imran) Verse 110}.

    3- They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do! {The Table Spread – V (Soora Al-Maida) Verse 79).

    But instead of preaching the above mentioned verses of

    Quran to those who are the allies of Jamat-e-Islami in

    APDM by adopting the below mentioned verse of Quran.

    The Jamat Islami is conspiring to disturb the peace in

    the country.

    Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright. [AN-NAHL (THE BEE) Chapter 16 - Verse 125]

    WHY JAMAT-E-ISLAMI IS UN-ISLAMIC:

    Instead of advising the Ethnic Parties in APDM to shun their Ethnic Politics in APDM the Jamat-e-Islami is promoting Ethnic Politics of Mohajir Qaumi Movement of

    Afaq Ahmed [an offshoot of MQM Altaf Group]:

    Efforts to end Aamir-Afaq rivalry fail By Mazhar Tufail Sunday, April 20, 2008

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?I

    ISLAMABAD: Efforts for a truce between two senior

    leaders of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-Haqiqi) –

    Aamir Khan and Afaq Ahmed — failed to materialise,

    'The News' learnt here on Saturday.

    Younas Khan, a former member of the Sindh Assembly

    belonging to the MQM-Haqiqi who is currently settled

    in Islamabad, confirmed to The News that some

    important quarters made frantic efforts for settlement

    between Aamir and Afaq but they failed.

    He said efforts were also made on many occasions in

    the past to bring the two senior MQM-Haqiqi leaders to

    terms. "Currently, hundreds of our workers are living

    in different parts of the country like re-

    fugees and they are waiting for a congenial atmosphere

    in Karachi to return to their homes," he said. The

    News also learnt that the top leadership of the

    MQM-Haqiqi approached Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Qazi

    Hussain Ahmed but no formal meeting could be held

    because the Jamaat chief was away from Islamabad.

    When contacted by The News, Jamaat Central Secretary

    Information Ameer-ul-Azeem confirmed that some leaders

    of the MQM-Haqiqi wished to meet Qazi Hussain Ahmed

    and this contact was part of efforts for a

    rapprochement between the top Haqiqi leaders.

    Some important quarters, who had a key role in Karachi

    in the past, have expressed that if no settlement

    between Aamir Khan and Afaq Ahmed is reached, peace in

    Karachi will be difficult to achieve. Whereas, they

    believe, in case of a truce between the two MQM-Haqiqi

    leaders, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement might face

    numerous problems.

    JAMAT-E-ISLAMI IS PROMOTING ETHNIC POLITICS WHICH IS

    NOT ALLOWED IN ISLAM:

    Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] said: "And whosoever fights under a blind (rayah) pannier (it is not known whether this flag represents the truth or falsehood), gets angry along with his group of people, or calls to a group of people, or supports a group of people, and is subsequently killed because of that, then this killing is a jahili (sinful) killing." [Muslim]

    Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] said: And whosoever is killed under a blind (rayah) flag, gets angry along with his group of people, and fights for the sake of his group of people, then he is not from my ummah." [Muslim]

    In both narrations, there is a strong warning from the prophet (S.A.W.) to the one who is triggered by asabiyyah to call for it, or to get angry for it, or to support it. In the first narration, it clarifies to us that if he gets killed because of asabiyyah, then his killing is a jahili (sinful) killing. In the second narration, the prophet (S.A.W.) excludes the one who carries asabiyyah from his ummah. Both of these warnings indicate how serious and great the sin of asabiyyah is.

    Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] said: "He is not of us if he calls to asabiyyah, and he is not one of us if he fights for the sake of asabiyyah, and not one of us if he dies on asabiyyah." [Sunan Abu Dawood]

    Also when two men one from Muhajireen and one from Ansaar differed, each one called to his group for help, so each group got ready to support their man, then the Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] said: "What is this? Are you calling the call of the people of Jahiliyyah? Leave it, for surely it is filthy." [Muslim]

    Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] said: "Whosoever supports his group of people not on the truth, he is like a camel that fell from a high peak into a deep valley where it only could move its tail." [Sunan Abu Dawood]

    Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] gave the example of the one who fights wrongfully for the sake of his group of people with the camel that fell from a high peak into a deep valley; it is helpless, scolded, humiliated, and can not do anything except move its tail uselessly at the bottom of the valley. [Sunan Abu Dawood]

    Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] said: "Allah (S.W.T.) took away the asabiyyah of jahiliyyah from you, and your boasting about your fathers. So, man is either a righteous believer or a corrupted non-believer. You are the children of Adam, and Adam is from dirt; let men quit their boasting of their own people, they are nothing but coal from the coal of Hell or they will be more humiliated in the sight of Allah more than the dung beetle that pushes dung with its nose." [Sunan

    Abu Dawood]

  5. @Amir Mughal

    I could not read all this crap except a few of your posts.

    You are 100% right dear when you say that they wage jihad (To grab hoors perhaps) and then raise hue and cry for human rights.

    Btw, what human rights we have in our own country and why people try to run away from here taking horrible risks, both of law and life?

  6. @Amir Mughal

    I could not read all this crap except a few of your posts.

    You are 100% right dear when you say that they wage jihad (To grab hoors perhaps) and then raise hue and cry for human rights. [Readinglord]

    ========================

    Dear Sir,

    Why read it at all if it was all crap. By the way you have misquoted me above because I had said:

    When you play Jihad [Afghan Jihad] with the help of Infidels then dont raise hue and cry.

  7. No wonder world in apprehensive towards Muslims, especially Paki Muslims. Now these students or whoever they r, had an opportunity to get good education and get good opportunities, instead they tried to kill their ppl. How can other govt trust Muslims to let them in their homes?

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