Pak Activist Appeals to NHRC on Prisoner's Release

Pak Activist Appeals to NHRC on Prisoner's Release
Activist Asma Jahangir has appealed to the National Human Rights Commission and the Home Ministry to intervene and ensure the release of a Pakistani prisoner lodged in Tihar here on humanitarian grounds.

Sarfaraz Ahmed, a resident of Bhopalpur in Narowal district of Pakistan, was detained by Jammu and Kashmir government under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act on March 22, 2004, according to jail records. Sources said his detention period is due to end in 2012.

In a letter addressed to the chairperson of NHRC and Union Home Secretary, the Pakistani human rights activist claimed, "At the moment Sarfaraz has completed his imprisonment and is at central jail Tihar.

"We are not in a position to prejudge the guilt or innocence of the prisoner but seek your indulgence for the bail on humanitarian grounds," Jahangir, who is also a lawyer, said.

According to information received from the family members of Sarfaraz, Jahangir said, he had left his home after a dispute with his elder brother Abdul Sattar. Gulab Rasik, mother of Sarfaraz, made an extensive search for him but all her efforts went in vain.

After three months Abdul Gaffar, his brother-in-law, received a letter from Sarfaraz informing them that he was detained in the jail here.

His father Mukhtar Ahmed, who was in shock after hearing the news, fell sick and passed away within three days.

"His mother has lost her eyesight and is sick since she heard about her son," she said.
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