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Indian terror suspect still in Spanish jail 12 months on,family tries new avenues

Almost a year since Jogeshwari resident Roshan Jamal Khan,50,was arrested by Spanish authorities in Barcelona in connection with a suspected terror plot and held in ‘unconditional imprisonment’...

Written by Sagnik Chowdhury | Mumbai |
January 15, 2009 1:39:18 am

Almost a year since Jogeshwari resident Roshan Jamal Khan,50,was arrested by Spanish authorities in Barcelona in connection with a suspected terror plot and held in ‘unconditional imprisonment’,his family members’ fight for his release has not gone anywhere. Receiving no new word from diplomatic channels,they are now planning to approach the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In a bid to create awareness about Khan’s case and garner support from all quarters,his family has set up a blog — roshan-jamal-khan.blogspot.com — to share information on details and progress of the case.

Speaking to Newsline,Khan’s brother Mehboob said: “In some days’ time,it will be a year since my brother was arrested. As we have already tried all other channels,we are now planning to approach the United Nations Human Rights Council. This will take some time as we are now doing the paper-work. To approach the UN,we will need very specific and exhaustive documentation on the case.

“We have also set up a blog that has all the information we have gathered on my brother’s case,so that more people can learn about it and provide assistance. The blog contains newspaper articles on the case,amongst other write-ups.”

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The woes of Khan’s family have now increased with his eldest son Talha,17,being hospitalised for an ailment which the doctors are yet to diagnose. “It was Talha who set up the blog on January 4. The same night he complained that his head was hurting and arms and legs were getting stiff. We rushed him to Ruby Nursing Home nearby,and later shifted him to BSES Hospital in Andheri. The doctors have not yet been able to say what is wrong with him. He is currently in the intensive care unit at Millat Hospital on S V Road,” said Mehboob.

Khan is one of the 14 Muslim men picked up by Spanish authorities from a mosque in Barcelona on January 19 in connection with an alleged terror plot to carry out attacks in that city. Four of them,including another Indian,were released later. Khan,who is being held along with nine Pakistanis,was in Spain to explore business opportunities,his family has said.

On January 23,he was produced in a Madrid court where the judge granted his ‘unconditional imprisonment’. On June 18,Khan was again produced in court and his statement recorded,but no charges have been filed against him so far.

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Khan’s family had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,the External Affairs Ministry and the Spanish Consulate-General to intervene in the issue and immigrant groups have staged protests in Spain seeking his freedom.

“Our lawyer in Spain has not even been given a copy of the statement recorded from my brother. The Spanish authorities are causing unnecessary harassment by shifting him from Madrid to Leons. We would expect our Ministry of External Affairs to put some pressure on the Spanish authorities,but we haven’t received any word for a long time,” Mehboob said.

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First published on: 15-01-2009 at 01:39:18 am

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