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No Pakistani publicly charged with involvement in Sept 11 hijacking
NEW YORK Feb 26 (NNI):
"Our world can not be at peace until racism is declared as crime," an
activist of ACLU Agha Muhammad Saleh stated this
while addressing the protest rally.
Since Sept. 11, the FBI and INS have detained hundreds of Pakistani and Arab expatriates intentionally ignoring to apprehend other origin illegal immigrants.
To protest against the bigotry arrests in the US, the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU in conjunction with other Human Rights and Peace Keeping Organizations of the country launched an ongoing campaign to defend the civil liberties in the United States. The rally is planed to be held every Saturday.
According to the Census 2001 report there are 8,70,000 illegal immigrants in United States, which comprise of 2,43,000 Africans and 40,000 Pakistanis, No African illegal immigrant is arrested since Sep.11.
The majority has been taken in on the charge of staying beyond the limit allowed by their visas, wheras, several people arrested have been indicted on federal fraud charges for producing or procuring fake identification, stealing credit card numbers or forging checks. However, no one has been publicly charged with involvement in the September 11-hijackings.
Estimates vary, but the number of Pakistanis in detention could run into several hundred. The arrested have no access to their families and friends
A protest March was held in New York, Prospect Park headed by Norman Siegel of ACLU along with the eminent emigrants of the City representing the community and Islamic organizations like Islamic Centre of North America ICNA.
Agha Asghar said most of the Pakistani expatriates left their home land not only for fiscal incentive but for the strong reason to live in a society of PEACE and Civil Liberates Promised by the US Constitution and Practiced by the rule of Law and Justice
At the end of the March the ACLU Leader Norman Siegel announced the decision of participating organizations that this is an ongoing protest and will be an awareness campaign to the public to educate them about their constitutional rights.
A month before the US Justice Department had already turned down a congressional request to identify people detained. The letter seeking this information was signed by more than one lawmaker.
According to Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi, the embassy has strongly urged the US authorities to inform the Pakistan embassy or one of its consulates in case they apprehend a Pakistani citizen, this is rarely done. The embassy generally comes to know only when or if a friend or relation of the detainee seeks its assistance.
Among others, prominent Pakistani Community activists Shafaqt Chaudhri, Sham as uz Zaman, Dr. Faheem Butt spoke on occasion. Ironically leading Pakistani organisations were absent from the scene.
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