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April 24, 2019

Farhatullah for bringing back 2,000 prisoners from Saudi Arabia


April 24, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Secretary General and former senator Farhatullah Babar Tuesday called for bringing back over 2,000 Pakistani prisoners as announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to Pakistan.

“Only about 200 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi jails had been freed and repatriated out of the over 2,000 announced by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during his recent visit,” Babar said in his key note address at the launch of a report by the Justice Project Pakistan on the condition Pakistan's migrant workers in Gulf countries.

Babar asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to pursue the release of the remaining prisoners with the crown prince The PPP leader said that malpractices in the recruitment process, human trafficking, forced labour, using workers as drug mules, ill treatment in detention centres in host countries and poor consular service were issues that had never been addressed systematically and in right earnest by any government. He said the law prohibits the use of exploitative sub agents in the recruitment process but these unscrupulous elements continue to thrive in human trade.

He called for preparation of a comprehensive data base on issues faced by migrant workers, consular protection policy and agreements with host countries on transfer of prisoners and transportation of dead bodies.

He said the absence of competent professional translators for defence in Saudi courts had resulted in many poor migrant workers landed in jails and called for institutionalizing a mechanism for this purpose.

He also asked for the ratification of international convention on the protection of the rights of all migrants workers and the members of their families. The PPP leader said that for raising effective voice against the maltreatment of Pakistani prisoners in middle eastern jails, Pakistan should also revisit its own criminal justice system which he said was totally broken.

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