PILER gives aid to Indian fishermen


Express July 24, 2010

KARACHI: The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) distributed clothes, slippers and other essential items among 295 Indian fishermen being detained at Malir District Jail Saturday.

Most of the fishermen are being detained without trial and many of them have even completed their sentences. There is a total of 582 Indian fishermen in four Sindh jails - Malir District Jail (Karachi), Nara Jail (Hyderabad), District Jail Badin and District Jail Naushahhro Feroz. They are all waiting to be deported as exchanges were halted particularly after the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

On the other side of the border, 150 Pakistani fishermen wait to be released. Under Pakistani laws, prisoners who have completed their terms can be detained only for the next three months. However, this period, either the prisoners should be freed or the government has to seek permission from the Supreme Court’s review board for further detention. In the case of Indian fishermen, the government has been seeking permission from the review board, which allowed that these fishermen be kept in jail.

A delegation from the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) and PILER had visited Malir district jail early this month to get the signatures of a few Indian fishermen for a constitutional petition to be filed in the Supreme Court for their release. A similar petition has been filed by Indian NGOs in the Supreme Court of India.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2010.

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