and further tried to assure that the former Balochistan Assembly lawmaker-turned-rebel was only exaggerating threat to his life.
Hyrbyair was arrested, along with a young Baloch rights campaigner Faiz Baloch, on December 4, 2007. They were arrested on charges of inciting others to commit murder abroad. Mr Marri spent four months in jail whereas Faiz Baloch was detained for eight months. After a lengthy trial of over 40 days, both men were acquitted by an ordinary British Jury of 12 men and women. Faiz Baloch, who applied for political asylum in September 2002, is still in a limbo, and the young campaigner remains clueless about his fate in Britain.
Speaking to The News, Hyrbyair commented: “It pains me more that I am not with my people who are standing steadfast against the State onslaught. I am glad though that I have been exonerated for the second time by the British courts, despite the British government’s tooth and nail opposition.
“The British government knows there are serious problems in Balochistan but doesn’t have the courage to stand up to Pakistan. The neutral immigration court has given its verdict in my favour by acknowledging the fact the meltdown in Balochistan is for real and that life has been made difficult for those who seek independence and right of self-determination. I knew that British justice system will not let me and the people of Balochistan down. These are independent courts, free of political influence.” He said that now when he is able to travel, he will meet the Baloch Diaspora across the world and will galvanise and unite them for the Baloch cause of justice.
Peter Tatchell has been at the forefront of campaigning for the release of Hyrbyair Marri from the detention in Belmarsh prison. He expressed his joy that Mr Marri was granted asylum in Britain, albeit with a lot of delay.
“This decision to grant Hyrbyair asylum is very significant. It is an acknowledgement by the British government that human rights abuses in Balochistan are so widespread and grave that Mr Marri cannot return there safely. This ruling is a damning indictment of the severe political repression that exists in Pakistan.
The human rights advocate added: “It is further evidence that Baloch people who want the right of self-determination are at risk of imprisonment, torture and assassination by the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies.