Save Majid Ali 375


Glasgow City College student Majid Ali faces torture and death if returned to Pakistan. Majid Ali’s brother and other members of his immediate family have been taken and I am afraid very probably murdered by the Pakistani authorities as part of their relentless persecution of the Baloch people and desire to wipe out Baloch national identity. The UK Home Office intends to deport Majid. The people of Scotland must defend him.

There will be an emergency demonstration at the Scottish office, 1 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh at 13.00 tomorrow. I shall be going along. NUS Scotland are organising a letter-writing campaign to Scottish MPs to get them to put pressure on the Home Office. This is important.

It is appalling that London can seek to rip Majid from a Scottish community which values him, from a nation which respects its immigrant communities and their contribution, as part of Theresa May’s campaign to pander to the corporate media induced racism which regrettably has been introduced into many communities in England. It is a further example of why independence is essential to build a more ethical state.

The persecution of the Baloch has received little attention in the West. Peter Tatchell has done admirable work in trying to raise its profile in the UK, but with little traction. Like so many dreadful abuses, it is a direct result of wrongdoing by the British Empire. Baloch or Beluchistan was formally known as the state of Kelat, which Britain first invaded in 1839, destroying the city of Kelat in 1840 and murdering the ruler Mehrab Khan on the pretext he had given insufficient support to the British invasion of Afghanistan. Britain’s relations with Kelat thereafter were an appalling litany of broken treaties, culminating into the forceful and unwanted incorporation into Pakistan.

A few years ago I met the current Khan of Kelat at his home in exile in Wales and learnt a great deal about the dreadful persecution the Baloch suffer. In the course of my researches into British responsibility for the situation I cam across the crime of the massacre of Kotra. After the killing of Mehrab Khan, fighting continued until a truce was agreed with Mehrab’s 15 year old son Nasir. While the truce was in force, British forces silently surrounded Nasir’s mountain camp at Kotra and attacked before dawn, massacring 500. It is reminiscent of Glencoe, though this was a much larger massacre. In the National Archives of India I trembled as I held the manuscript order for the massacre in my hands.

We should do everything we can to save Majid Ali out of common decency, wherever he is from. But the knowledge of Britain’s historic responsibility for the situation should broaden and deepen our understanding of his plight.


375 thoughts on “Save Majid Ali

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  • Resident Dissident

    “And where is Mr Goss of Shaker Ahmed (held in Guantnamo) fame? Conveniently absent, no doubt”

    Nope he is on the other thread continuing to demonstrate his economic illiteracy.

  • Republicofscotland

    “I laud your involvement, your action and your appeal.”
    ____________________________

    HABBintdoneanything.

    You’ll have to do more than just “laud” Habby you profess to be the wise old owl in here.

    Have you sent off your sternly worded letter?

    Afterall you are forever preaching right from wrong.

    Lets see if you’re capable of more than just derision.

    Also I see no criticism of Pakistan or its government from you,either put up or shut up,there’s a good chap.

  • Anon1

     “In the National Archives of India I trembled as I held the manuscript order for the massacre in my hands.”

    Yeah, right. I should think you trembled with excitement at the thought of another opportunity to slag off the British. In fact, can you point me to an historical post of yours in which you don’t blame the British for all the ills of the whichever region of the world you are dealing with? Because I have a distinct feeling your book will be concerned with very little else. Sometimes it might be beneficial to reflect that human rights weren’t quite foremost in the mind of any power in the 1840s – and least of all in the minds of the rulers whose empires fell to the British. I haven’t heard of this massacre you have raised, but don’t doubt that you will have given it the “15,000 in Sirte” treatment.

    Funnily enough, something to note in present-day India is that the period of colonial rule is almost entirely forgotten. An Indian professor of South Asian history once remarked to me that it is only in British campuses that he found this intense self-loathing, mostly among white Western leftists. He laughed and said that in India the gripe is with the long period of Muslim rule. And that would, as ever, be the running sore when he returned to lecturing in Delhi.

  • Villager

    ““In the National Archives of India I trembled as I held the manuscript order for the massacre in my hands.”

    Yeah, right. I should think you trembled with excitement at the thought of another opportunity to slag off the British.”

    Anon, I think you are clearly being unfair to Craig. As a compassionate man, I accept his genuine portrayal without question

    ” An Indian professor of South Asian history once remarked to me that it is only in British campuses that he found this intense self-loathing, mostly among white Western leftists.”

    Well if these Brits are indulging in self-loathing, it only stands to reason that the professor will find them in Britain, not in India. The professor may be right that Indians have forgotten, even forgiven, British rule of India.

    ” He laughed and said that in India the gripe is with the long period of Muslim rule. And that would, as ever, be the running sore when he returned to lecturing in Delhi.”

    Perhaps that is something to do with their proselytisation and the resulting Pakistani nation, which is deeply mistrusted by India.

  • John Goss

    Noddy and RD, it happens to be Shaker Aamer, but those who do not care would not know.

    I have sent the student letter to Steve McCabe. I am sure John Goss does more than the trolls as regards supporting causes which suddenly fit in with their newly-developed anti-austerity and pro-Muslim stances, which I welcome of course. But I do recall Resident Dissident calling Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmed (beaten up by English police) convicted criminals. That was before his “road to Damascus” conversion.

    While you’re at it supporting Majid Ali you might care to lend your support to this petition to try and save Shafqat Hussain from execution on Tuesday.

    “URGENT – Shafqat is due to be hanged on Tuesday 9th June.

    Shafqat was a 14-year-old boy when he was sentenced to death. He was brutally tortured for 9 days, and eventually made a false confession to make the abuse stop. His death sentence violates Pakistani and international law.”

    https://reprieve.bsd.net/page/speakout/save-shafqat

  • Resident Dissident

    Mr Goss

    I am not pro Muslim – and never have been. I am agnostic with regards to religion – but I do believe in upholding human rights. Talha Ahsa and Babar Ahmed are convicted criminals – that is a matter of fact – you might wish to argue as to whether their confessions were forced and whether their convictions in the US courts were false, but it would not surprise to you to let you know that I trust the US courts on these matters more than yourself – a man who is open in his support for totalitarians such as Putin, Ghadaffi, Assad and Saddam.

    I have made my support clear for Shafqat Hussain through Amnesty (a body you rubbished earlier this week) rather than through the rather less reputable (and less effective) Reprieve.

    http://www.amnesty.org.au/action/action/36811/

  • Republicofscotland

    “Totaltarians Ghadaffi, Assad and Saddam.
    __________________________________

    These totalitarians you mention they wouldn’t happen to be the same ones western regimes backed when it suited them,would they?

    I only ask,because if they are it would appear to make you somewhat hypocritical,would it not?

    Also I find it rather surprising that you trust US courts,is their any particular reason for this or,do you watch too much Judge Judy.

    You might find this interesting buy a judge today.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/judicial-corruption/

  • jemand

    I tried to google this guy Majid Ali and got nought. Didn’t know anything about what this thread is about.

    Then I saw Abe Rene ask a simple, reasonable question and get shat on. Then he is told he doesn’t need to know anything just support action to save Ali from being deported.

    I’m glad I didn’t ask. Not interested any more.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Jemand
    07/06/2015 4:24pm

    I didn’t ask for Abe Rene’s support. Or yours. I said the whys and the wherefores are irrelevant to getting the deportation stopped. Which they are.

    You don’t want to assist, I’m sure he can do without you, go and do something you think is more useful.

    J

  • John Goss

    “I have made my support clear for Shafqat Hussain through Amnesty (a body you rubbished earlier this week) rather than through the rather less reputable (and less effective) Reprieve.”

    While I am pleased to hear of your support, even through Amnesty, there is no need to slag off Reprieve who do extraordinary work on a very low budget. Reprieve has been fighting Shafqat’s case for years and enabled the last stay of execution.

    I used to support Amnesty, with donations and by taking part in their letter-writing campaigns. I do not trust it any more. This is Wikipedia.

    “Excessive payouts to senior staff

    In February 2011, newspaper stories in the UK revealed that Irene Khan had received a payment of UK £533,103 from Amnesty International following her resignation from the organisation on 31 December 2009,[10] a fact discovered in Amnesty’s records for the 2009–2010 financial year. The sum paid to her was in excess of four times her annual salary of £132,490.[10] The deputy secretary general, Kate Gilmore – who also resigned in December 2009 – received an ex-gratia payment of £320,000.[10][11] Peter Pack, the chairman of Amnesty’s international executive committee, said on 19 February 2011, “The payments to outgoing secretary general Irene Khan shown in the accounts of AI (Amnesty International) Ltd for the year ending 31 March 2010 include payments made as part of a confidential agreement between AI Ltd and Irene Khan.”[11] and that “It is a term of this agreement that no further comment on it will be made by either party.”[10] On 21 February Pack issued a further statement, in which he said that the payment was a “unique situation” that was “in the best interest of Amnesty’s work” and that there would be no repetition of it.[10] He stated that “the new secretary general, with the full support of the IEC, has initiated a process to review our employment policies and procedures to ensure that such a situation does not happen again.”[10] Pack also stated that Amnesty was “fully committed to applying all the resources that we receive from our millions of supporters to the fight for human rights”.[10] In a letter to the “movement” dated 25 February, Pack offered additional details, which in turn had been made public by Amnesty International Netherlands.[12] According to this statement Irene Khan, being reluctant to retire at the end of her second term, the International Executive Committee offered her additional termination benefits, payment of back salary, bonuses and other inducements to leave. UK employment law offering additional protections to fixed-term employees had given Khan leverage to ask for termination benefits. The alternatives, according to Pack, would have been her continuation in office, or an official dismissal which might have led to litigation.”

    But if you are doing something other than supporting the regime in Kiev I applaud it.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Resident Dissident,
    Who said this:-
    “The people of the UK should defend Majid Ali nevermind just the Scottish ones – given the history of his family in Pakistan, I fail to see how the legal criteria for asylum (i.e. a justifiable fear of persecution) are not being met in his case.”
    is correct.
    This case of a Somalian who sought asylum is illustrative:-
    “[Full Text] – Judgment Approved – 38 pages

    R (on the application of AG (SOMALIA)) v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (2015)

    [2015] EWHC 1309 (Admin)
    QBD (Admin) (Richard Clayton QC) 20/05/2015
    IMMIGRATION – ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – HUMAN RIGHTS
    CREDIBILITY : DEPORTATION : DISCLOSURE : FAIRNESS : LAWFULNESS OF DETENTION : MINISTERS’ POWERS AND DUTIES : REFUGEES : RIGHT TO RESPECT FOR PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE : UK BORDERS ACT 2007 s.32, s.36(1)(a), s.36(2) : EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS 1950 art.8 : BORDERS, CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION ACT 2009 s.55

    The secretary of state had acted with conspicuous unfairness when failing to disclose relevant information relating to an asylum seeker’s family members, who had been regarded as credible witnesses for the purposes of their own asylum claims but were cross-examined in his asylum proceedings on the basis that their accounts of persecution in Somalia were not credible. That breach of public law duty bore upon, and was relevant to, the decision to detain the asylum seeker pending deportation, and had caused him to be detained longer than he should have been.

    A claimant applied for judicial review of his detention pending deportation.

    The claimant had arrived in the UK from Somalia in 2004 at the age of 15. His asylum claim was refused, but he was granted discretionary leave to remain until February 2007. On expiry of that period he overstayed, living with his extended family, who all had refugee status, indefinite leave to remain or British nationality. He married in August 2007. In October 2007, his mother and half-brother were granted refugee status. In 2008, he was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. His son was born while he was in custody. In 2008 he was informed that he was liable to automatic deportation under the UK Borders Act 2007 s.32. He argued that he was a refugee and also relied on his ECHR art.8 rights. In July 2010, when due to be released on licence, he was further detained under s.36(1)(a), pending his asylum and human rights claims. He was served with a deportation order and detained under s.36(2) pending removal, his claims being rejected as not credible. His family members’ experiences of persecution had been accepted when granting them refugee status. No steps were taken on behalf of the secretary of state to obtain and review that material and it was not referred to in the decision letter. The First-tier Tribunal dismissed his appeal, finding an overall lack of credibility. The Upper Tribunal considered his appeal in light of the decision in Sufi v United Kingdom (8319/07) (2012) 54 E.H.R.R. 9 and updated Somali country guidance in AMM (Conflict: Humanitarian Crisis: Returnees: FGM: Somalia), Re [2011] UKUT 445 (IAC), [2012] Imm. A.R. 374, but also rejected it on the basis of credibility. The secretary of state reconsidered the claim, but refused to revoke the order. In December 2012, it was noted on the secretary of state’s records that the information regarding the claimant’s family’s successful claims had not been disclosed. The claimant made a fresh appeal to the First-tier Tribunal, which was successful on art.8 grounds. He was released on bail in February 2013 and was subsequently granted discretionary leave to remain. The issues were whether the secretary of state had (i) breached her duty of candour and/or acted with conspicuous unfairness; (ii) intended to deport the claimant and had only used the power to detain for that purpose; (iii) been aware, before the expiry of a reasonable period, that deportation would not be able to be effected within that reasonable period; (iv) acted with reasonable diligence and expedition to effect removal; (v) breached the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 s.55.

    HELD: (1) The secretary of state was required to make specific enquiry inside or outside her department when prompted by material in her possession. The December 2012 file note recorded that on 6 August 2012 the official had considered raising the matter of the family’s information but decided not to. The secretary of state was required to make specific enquiry from 6 August 2012 onwards. However, the claimant’s complaint was principally directed at acts and omissions which resulted in conspicuous unfairness. Disclosure of the information for the second First-tier Tribunal hearing could never have had the same impact as if disclosed and deployed at the first hearing, Devaseelan v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2002] UKIAT 702, [2003] Imm. A.R. 1 applied. The claimant’s family members were regarded as credible witnesses whose asylum claims had succeeded, yet the presenting officers cross-examined their account at the claimant’s first hearing on the basis that they were not credible. That resulted in conspicuous unfairness in the treatment of his asylum claim, a breach of public law duty which bore upon, and was relevant to, the decision to detain him longer than he should have been (see paras 98-106 of judgment). (2) The secretary of state had failed to demonstrate that she intended to deport the claimant and had only used the power to detain for that purpose, in accordance with the first Hardial Singh principle. She was entitled to a reasonable period to assess the likelihood of effecting returns to Somalia, but should have concluded by August 2012 that he could not be returned, Sufi and AMM considered (paras 116-121) (3) Evidence concerning forced returns to Somalia showed that the number of removals was tiny relative to the numbers who were liable to be returned, and the secretary of state had failed to discharge the burden on her to show that, before the expiry of the reasonable period, it had become apparent that she would be able to effect deportation within that reasonable period in accordance with the third Hardial Singh principle, R. (on the application of Mohammed) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 1898 (Admin) applied (paras 140-142). (4) The secretary of state had not failed to act with reasonable diligence and expedition to effect removal in breach of the fourth Hardial Singh principle (para.147). (5) The secretary of state had not breached s.55. She was entitled to rely on the findings and conclusions in the earlier FTT and Upper Tribunal decisions in relation to the claimant’s son. In December 2012, the secretary of state had taken the initiative to place a psychologist’s reports before the new FTT, which then fundamentally reviewed the position, thereby satisfying her duty under s.55 (paras 157-158).

    Application granted
    Counsel:
    For the claimant: Stephanie Harrison QC, Nicola Braganza
    For the defendant: Sarabjit Singh

    Solicitors:
    For the claimant: Birnberg Peirce & Partners
    For the defendant: Treasury Solicitor

    appears a weaker case that was won. By “weaker” I mean that some of the evident elements in the Majid Ali case are:-

    1. The persecution, as in the Somalian case is sufficiently credible to be a factor that must be weighed.
    2. However, in a case where the asylum seeker’s family is under direct attack, one rationally can easily for much the same reason of ‘ethnic persecution’ the son is likely to be subject to the same treatment.

    One does not have to be a lawyer, to come to reasonable and fair conclusions. It seems to me that in the stated circumstances, it would be grossly unfair to refuse Majid Ali asylum.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Correction – “surmise that ”

    2. However, in a case where the asylum seeker’s family is under direct attack, one rationally can easily for much the same reason of ‘ethnic persecution’ surmise that the son is likely to be subject to the same treatment.

  • Sir Cyril's Land

    An example of the legal bug pit Britain sets up for asylum-seekers:

    https://tribunalsdecisions.service.gov.uk/utiac/37532

    Highlights:

    – if the problem back home is violent instability – like the violent instability that the UK painstakingly set up in Balochistan – the bureaucratic hurdles get much higher.

    – Britain reserves the right to discount evidence at will while claiming compliance with the ECHR.

    – Britain doesn’t like the case law because it wants to maintain that you don’t have to worry about torture if you can just submit to your regime.

    – You have to prove there’s no place back home where you’ll be safe.

    Then when the machine spits you out, to appeal refoulement Britain requires a journey to Liverpool while denying you the means to undertake it.

    http://www.paih.org/legal-challenge-over-move-to-force-scots-asylum-seekers-to-travel/

    The question is whether Scotland wants to be part of the civilized world. If the Scottish people aspire to meet peremptory norms of international law, they will have to get out of Britain’s grasp. If you want your rights to peace and development, you’ll have to leave this degenerate police state that the US has imposed.

  • Republicofscotland

    Off topic.

    I do apolgise.

    For those who’ve not see the banned video called

    A Unlawful Killing.

    It is in my opinion conclusive proof of the murders of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed,with a eye opening insight to the Royal family that will shock even the most staunch monarchist.

    http://munguinsrepublic.blogspot.co.uk

  • Dreoilin

    Thanks for the additional information on payments to Irene Khan, John.

    Having joined Amnesty at the age of 20, I was upset when I began to receive hints that it was not funded entirely by donations, fund raising, and selling merchandise, as I had believed.

    I wrote about a year ago to Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, voicing my concerns and asking questions. He wrote me back a (very) long reply which said, in essence, that yes, they received other funding, but that that funding was used ONLY for education on human rights, and not for taking actions. I haven’t given them a penny since, and don’t consider myself a member any more.

    As I understand it, the following from Land Destroyer is essentially correct. I was written in 2012 before Suzanne Nossel resigned.

    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ie/2012/08/amnesty-international-is-us-state.html

    “On page 11 of Amnesty International Limited’s 2011 Report and Financial Statement (.pdf) it states (emphasis added):
    “The Directors are pleased to acknowledge the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Oak Foundation, Open Society Georgia Foundation, the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Programme, Mauro Tunes and American Jewish World Service. The UK Department for International Development (Governance and Transparency Fund) continued to fund a four year human rights education project in Africa. The European Commission (EuropeAid) generously awarded a multi-year grant towards Amnesty International’s human rights education work in Europe.”

    Full text at the link

  • Dreoilin

    I watched Unlawful Killing about a week ago. It’s very interesting. Raises a lot of questions.

  • John Goss

    Dreoilin, my sentiments too regarding Amnesty. I know they have done some good work in the past. It is an NGO/Charity like so many that once it gets recognition, those with power interests are soon very much involved, and probably long before.

    It was actually due to Craig’s blog that I learnt about the other side of Amnesty International.

    Reprieve is different altogether. I don’t doubt that Clive Stafford-Smith is on a good salary. Whatever his salary he earns what he gets.

  • RobG

    I thought Greenwald’s piece today was quite interesting. Here’s a snip…

    When it comes to taking the lead in advocating for the criminalization of leaking and demanding the lengthy imprisonment of our source, it hasn’t been the U.S. Government performing that role but rather – just as was the case for WikiLeaks disclosures – those who call themselves “journalists.” Just think about what an amazing feat of propaganda that is, one of which most governments could only dream: let’s try to get journalists themselves to take the lead in demonizing whistleblowers and arguing that sources should be imprisoned! As much of an authoritarian pipe dream as that may seem to be, that is exactly what happened during the Snowden debate.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/07/la-times-editors-advocate-imprisonment-sources/

    It’s sort of on-topic, Craig, not least because of the UK press and the ‘Muslim bogeyman’, and of course the demonisation of immigrants.

  • John Goss

    I’m still waiting to hear why Resident Dissident thinks Reprieve is disreputable. But I suspect I shall have a long wait on that one.

  • technicolour

    Perhaps you could just say why it isn’t, without reference to your sparring partner/alter ego. I say this as someone who supports Reprieve.

  • Resident Dissident

    Just Google it John – and I didn’t say it was disreputable either – read carefully you are not very good with shades of grey.

  • Mark Golding

    It is a further example of why independence is essential to build a more ethical state.

    Agreed Craig – as today we learn HMS Bulwark (good show Nick) rescues 1,000 migrants off Libyan coast animating PM agent Cameron to posit a claim that Britain “is a country that doesn’t walk on by. We are a country with a conscience, and that’s right.

    Obviously a felicitous paroxysm from the Etonian Mr Cameron already bathed in contorted history!

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/prime-minister-warns-of-need-to-deal-with-immigration-after-navy-rescue.128261548

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Villager at 12:46pm on 7.6.15, thanks very much, same to you. You’re quite right about the (to put it kindly) dodginess of Pakistan and its ridiculous and dangerous nukes and so on. I also realised after I’d posted that I must’ve been typing my post just as you posted the info. about Balochistan!

  • John Goss

    You made the comment Resident Dissident. Surely you had some reason for making the claim that Reprieve is more disreputable than Amnesty International and achieves less. It is not my job to Google it. Just provide the links.

    On a different topic which interests you thousands marched in Kiev on Saturday against Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk calling for their resignation, asking where their pensions are and why they are starving. Not covered by the BBC who were there.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/thousands-march-anti-government-protest-kiev/ri7797?

    The BBC were round the corner reporting on Gay Pride bashing by some of the Nazis.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33034247

    The gay event was probably organised to detract from the more important issues of an economy in tatters and to show the western gay community how tolerant the coup government is of minorities. Police overkill perhaps.

  • technicolour

    “You made the comment Resident Dissident.”

    Do you know how long you two, seemingly to mutual satisfaction, because surely to no-one else’s, have been doing this? Perhaps you could look back at the records and answer.

  • John Goss

    Technicolour, I’ve been on two cycle-training spins and eaten out today. I have hardly been at anything till I got back, after which I challenged this absurdity of Resident Dissidents. I subscribe to Reprieve.

  • technicolour

    Do you know how long you two, seemingly to mutual satisfaction, because surely to no-one else’s, have been doing this? Perhaps you could look back at the records and answer.

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