American Rose fights for Pakistani husband By Salman Siddiqui
Dawn, 17 Sep, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Rose, a 32-year-old American woman in Islamabad, is seeking justice for her Pakistani husband, Hasan, who claims that he was detained and tortured by officials of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before being deported in 2006.
The couple, who have asked that their last names be withheld for security reasons, is currently appealing to the US embassy in Islamabad to review their case so that the family can be repatriated to the US, where Hasan was a legal resident since 2003. They have not filed a lawsuit against Hasan’s detention in the US civilian courts as they cannot afford legal counsel. However, a motion on Hasan’s behalf has been filed in the International Criminal Court by a Florida-based human rights’ campaigner.
Although Hasan has been back in Pakistan since 2006 – Rose and the couple’s two children followed in 2008 – the couple chose not to pursue Hasan’s case earlier because they saw no hope for justice under the former Bush administration. They are now pinning everything on President Barack Obama’s government.
‘I got a phone call from the US embassy today,’ says Rose, eyes shining with excitement in her two-room rented basement house in the capital city. The embassy has acknowledged the case for the first time since Rose’s arrival in Pakistan in January 2008.
‘Before, [the embassy officials] simply told me to leave my husband, just divorce him,’ says Rose. ‘They encouraged me to return to the US with my children and to forget about Hasan.’ She adds that the officials told Rose, a US citizen, that three other US citizens would have to vouch for her on her arrival in the US.
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