3 out of 10 Pakistani national students awaiting their deportation appeals namely Shoaib Khan, Abdul Wahab Khan, and Tariq Ur Rehman have been shifted to London’s high security prison Belmarsh which is situated at Western Way,Thamesmead, London, SE28 0EB. Special Immigration Appeals Commission refused their bail applications on 12 May 2009 and listed the matter for further appeal hearing on 28 July 2009 at London.
Defence team received a phone call from Traiq Ur Rehman from Belmarsh on the eve of 14 March at 19.46 pm. who has shown the greatest anxiety about shifting them to Belmarsh and has urged the Pakistani authorities to do something otherwise this move will greatly affect him physically and mentally if kept at that strange place.
I protest at this step as it will cause enormous difficulties in preparing for defence in this highly sensitive case, where move from Manchester to London will create hurdles in securing instructions freely, and appellants will not be able to think straight if kept on their edges, and consistent concentration and patience is must to secure their rights and justice.
We have conveyed our feelings of reservation to Pakistani authorities and would like the Pakistan High Commissioner to meet those detained personally and raise this issue at the highest level as Belmarsh is a notorious category ‘A’ prison where highly dangerous criminals who are facing charges or serving sentences are kept to keep the other inmates safe so as the public. Detaining the immigration deportees in Belmarsh prima facie amounts to degrading treatment and part of intimidating process to put the appellants off to fight their appeals, who were considered not guilty by Greater Manchester Police on the eve of 21 April 2009, as opposed to Jackie Smith who adjudged them Islamic extremists posing a threat to national security of Great Britain.
Defence team led by Sibghat Ullah Kadri QC , Barrister Rashid Ahmed, and Solicitor-Advocate Amjad Malik have urged the Pakistani Govt to accelerate diplomatic efforts to seek their release, and they must meet detainees at once at Belmarsh prison to ensure their well being as Belmarsh is a nightmare for non criminal entities and appellants are just waiting decision on their immigration appeals. Malik observed that Presidential visit to UK on 11-14 May should have been used to seek fair treatment with Pakistani students.
We must reiterate that Pakistani students are still without a free telephone access to their families.