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Sarabjit lawyer gets asylum in Sweden

It is most unfortunate that both countries detain POWs of 1971,but deny their presence in custody.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Amritsar |
October 1, 2013 1:14:59 am

Awais Sheikh,the Pakistani counsel for Sarabjit Singh who died after he was assaulted in jail,and his family have taken asylum in Sweden after receiving threats.

“Thanks UNO/ UNHCR for taking note of my abduction and physical torture,while I was representing the cases of Indian prisoners in the court of law. Thanks Sweden for granting permanent stay along with family,also providing all facilities and safeguards,” Sheikh said in an e-mail. He was reportedly abducted in May,but later freed. “My life in Pakistan was constantly under threat even after my kidnapping and physical torture.The letter of Human Rights Commission,Pakistan,urging Chief Minister Najam Sethi to provide security was totally ignored. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested,but I did not give up…” he wrote.

On the Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails,Sheikh wrote: “Highly regret that I will not be able to represent cases of their loved ones pending for adjudication in the courts,particularly the family of sepoy Mangal Singh of 14 Punjab Regiment.. I met him in Central Jail,Lahore,with the permission of home secretary. Mangal Singh recognised his photograph in uniform with family.

“It is most unfortunate that both countries detain POWs of 1971,but deny their presence in custody. This is a war crime. Such prisoners are to be treated as prisoners of war under Geneva Convention… They have to be freed after ceasefire. My intention in referring to the case of Mangal Singh is not to defame Pakistan but to remind and convince both countries to realise their moral and international obligations.”

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