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Saif visits the Chilean Congress

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Saif Khan met MPs at the upper house of Chilean Congress. It was announced at the Human Rights Commission at the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 that the Interior Minister, Rodrigo Hinzpeter is deliberately not sorting out Saif’s immigration status as his visa earlier expired. The interior minister is in effect trying to expel him from the country despite the fact that prosecution dismissed the charges against him. This in their view, amounts to further injustice by the minister of interior. At the Chilean Congress, Saif was accompanied by his wife, Lorena Cotroneo, and his defense counsel Ariel Zuniga, who told MPs that the State of Chile violated the human rights of his represented (Saif Khan) and demanded justice and reparation for him. He added that the interior minister has slandered Mr. Saif Khan, and insisted that the Government should make the appropriate apologies to Mr. Khan.

The members of the Human Rights Committee of the Chilean senate noted that Saif has been a victim of intimidation by the Ministry of Interior. Earlier in May, the Pakistani student was falsely accused and after seven months his innocence was proven. No crime was ever committed by Saif and this whole drama has proved to be of immense shame and humiliation for the interior minister of Chile, who exceeded his limits by interfering in the judicial process, and violating the important rule of innocent until proven guilty. All along, the Chilean nation and the international community watched with skepticism the allegations against an innocent student and the drama that was unfolding in Chile.

Deputy Sergio Ojeda, a member of the Human Rights Committee of the House, called on the government to publicly express its apologies to the Pakistani national Muhammed Saif Ur Rehman Khan.  He added that, “he (Saif) was prosecuted for possession of explosives, subjected to a detention based on an unfair prosecution… and his image tarnished from a simple foreign citizen to a dangerous terrorist and extremist, which turned out to be absolutely false”.

After listening to the foreign citizen, the members assured him their full support and agreed to send a document to the Police Investigations (PDI) and the Public Ministry to explain the operations conducted and its rationale besides clarifying to the Senate committee of the history of the case in terms of human rights. “What we do as a House committee is to express a political opinion regarding the improper conduct of a high authority of government… “said the deputy, Sergio Aguilo. The deputy Aguilo also stressed that the investigation was restricted to the Pakistani student at the insistence of the Interior Ministry, as even the U.S. ambassador in Chile did not file any legal complaint against him. Therefore, “…members of the Commission on Human Rights of the House are not going to hesitate in studying the filing of an impeachment,” of Mr. Hinzpeter.   The members also issued a public statement rejecting the actions of Interior Minister Rodrigo Hintzpeter in this case and demand a public apology for her false accusations.

The President of the Human Rights Commission, MP Hugo Gutierrez,  hoped that the facts be clarified as soon as possible, given the damage caused to the Pakistani and valued members of the Commission provide all necessary support.

After the meeting, counsel for the student, Ariel Zúñiga, appreciated the support won by the parliamentarians, saying “to report these facts, to come forward and try to help regain his honor, not only deserves to regularize his immigration status, but be given citizenship by grace”.

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