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Foreign prisoners must not be forced to overstay: CHRI

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  12 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, April 11: Foreign prisoners belonging to countries with poor rule of law are “almost always” forced to overstay and continue to spend their lives in jails even after the completion of their sentence, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) said on Saturday.

They are released yet they suffer imprisonment either in jails or detention centres. This is an additiol punishment, absolutely inconsistent with Article 21 of the constitution that guarantees protection of liberty to both citizens and non-citizens, it said in a statement issued here. The CHRI, which succeeded in expediting the release and repatriation of Khan Zaman, an Afghan tiol who was in detention for the last 14 years in Jodhpur jail, said that unnecessary detention of these prisoners creates overcrowding in prisons.

According to the tiol Crime Records Bureau, there were 6,746 foreign prisoners languishing in Indian prisons mostly belonging to impoverished countries. The CHRI earlier faced challenges in the repatriation of Meer Vize, Khan Zaman’s accomplice and Bangladeshi juveniles and adults. “Zaman’s case is an unfortute illustration of procedural justice over substantial justice. His release was secured only after his relative flew all the way from Afghanistan to India to pay a fine of Rs.1,100 because the prison department would not accept it from Zaman’s lawyers. Despite the payment and completion of his sentence, extricating Zaman out of detention was an extremely long and tedious process,” it said.

Right up to the point of his departure involving police escorts provided by authorities, Zaman’s case hurtled from the jail superintendent to the state home department for transfer to deportation centre, and from the home to the embassy of Afghanistan and the ministry of exterl affairs which filly rolled out his travel documents and tickets. (IANS)

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