Call for help: Bangladeshi prisoners in Pakistan

Dear Global Legal Empowerment Community,

We’re writing to you to seek your advice and your help in our efforts to ensure that three prisoners detained at the Central Prison, Karachi, Pakistan can get back home to their families in Bangladesh. All three detainees have served their sentences and continue to be held in prison because of bureaucratic delays and the lethargy of Pakistani and Bangladeshi authorities.

The Legal Aid Office (LAO) is engaging with the Bangladesh High Commission in Pakistan and is calling on friends and supporters in Bangladesh to connect with State institutions who can help as well as the media in Bangladesh who may be interested in spreading the word.

The process of repatriation can be long and arduous and often involves more than the needs of the detained individual. We’re hoping that with your help, we can place the detained prisoners at the center of this effort and cut through the red tape and diplomatic holdups to ensure that these individuals can be released from prison as soon as possible.

1. Anwar Koko, Son of Khursheed Mian: As per the judgment passed by a court in August 2012, Anwar was found guilty of violating the Foreigners Act. According to the court, Anwar had travelled to Pakistani illegally by boat 20 years prior to his arrest in 2011. Anwar had no identity documents on him when he was arrested, and is accused of no crime other than illegally entering and residing in Pakistan.

Anwar was sentenced to 3 years of rigorous imprisonment, which was suspended by the court and orders were passed to arrange for his deportation. Anwar has been in prison since May 2011 and continues to wait for Bangladeshi authorities to arrange for his transfer.

As per our information, Anwar is 46 years old now, and his permanent address (unconfirmed) in Bangladesh is: Village Ramaid Pur, near Raniganj Bazar and Jagganathpur Police Station, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Bangladesh.


2. Badruddin Ahmed, Son of Kaleemuddin Ahmed:
Badruddin was arrested from Lahore, Pakistan on the 8th of June 2011. Badruddin was charged under the Foreigners Act and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 6 months which was completed on the 14th of April 2012. He was not accused of any other crime.

Badruddin continues to be detained at the Central Prison Karachi because he cannot be released on account of the fact that he is a foreign national. Despite numerous requests by the prison authorities, there has been no progress in repatriating Badruddin back to Bangladesh and his detention continues.

Badruddin suffers from a mental illness and is undergoing treatment in the mental health ward at the Central Prison. Medical facilities, particularly mental health facilities at the prison are extremely limited and Badruddin now appears to be unable to communicate details about his arrest and subsequent detention.

As per our information, Badruddin is now 40 years old and has five brothers, two sisters and his mother in Bangladesh. His permanent address (unconfirmed) is: Village Fakir grow, Kutcheri Patti, Police station Ambari , Post office Abhaya Pur, Bangladesh


3. Babal Hussain, Son of Abdul Razzaq: Babal was arrested from Sukkur, Pakistan in 2015. Babal had travelled to India to visit the shrine at Ajmer Sharif and had thereafter illegally crossed the border and had arrived in Lahore.

Babal was charged under the Foreigner Act and was found guilty of illegally travelling to Pakistan. He was sentenced to imprisonment for the period that he had already under gone detention during the pendency of his trial and a fine of Rs. 1,000. Babal has been eligible for release since May 2015 however, he cannot be released until the Bangladesh High Commission confirms his identity and arranges for his repatriation.

As per our information, Babal is now 49 years old. He has been away from home since he was 16 or 17 years old and travelled to India. He has a father and a brother in Bangladesh. His permanent address (unconfirmed) is: Village Balribari, Tongibari Police Station, Bikrampur, District Munshigonj, Bangladesh.


About our work

The Legal Aid Office (LAO) has been working to empower prisoners and provide legal aid in the province of Sindh since 2004. Since then, LAO has provided legal representation to over 13,500 individuals. LAO also facilitates consular access and repatriation of foreign prisoners and has repatriated foreigners to many countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Nepal, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malaysia, Ukraine, Thailand, Philippines, Senegal, and India.

The organization trains and supports prison paralegals in 5 prisons in Sindh. The cases identified above were collected by LAO paralegals at the Central Prison Karachi, who were able to identify existing legal needs, collect the required information and connect detained Bangladeshi prisoners to LAO lawyers.

Please do get in touch with us if you need any further information or are able to assist in the effort.

Haya Emaan Zahid, Executive Director, Legal Aid Office: Omar Bashir Maniar, Associate Director, Legal Aid Office: