UN panel declares former Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s detention arbitrary – The Times of India

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A panel of UN experts has determined that the detention of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is arbitrary and violates international law. The United Nations Working Group on arbitrary detention has called for Khan’s immediate release, stating that his detention lacks legal basis and appears politically motivated.
The working group raised serious concerns about multiple cases brought against Khan since his ousting in April 2022.Their opinion, dated March 25 but made public on Monday, highlights that Khan’s deprivation of liberty breaches several international laws and norms.
“Khan’s detention had no legal basis and appears to have been intended to disqualify him from running for political office,” the working group concluded. “Thus, from the outset, that prosecution was not grounded in law and was reportedly instrumentalised for a political purpose.”
The five independent experts called on Pakistan’s government to “take the steps necessary to remedy the situation of Mr Khan without delay and bring it into conformity with the relevant international norms.”
“The appropriate remedy would be to release Mr Khan immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law,” they added.
Khan served as prime minister from 2018 to 2022 and has faced over 200 legal cases since his removal, which he claims is a campaign to keep him from power. He has been detained since August and barred from standing for office.
In April, Pakistan’s high court suspended Khan and his wife’s 14-year prison sentences for graft. This month, his 10-year sentence for treason was overturned, but he remains in Adiala jail, south of Islamabad, for an illegal marriage conviction.
Khan was cleared for release before those convictions in the days leading up to Pakistan’s February 8 general elections.
Neither Pakistan’s interior nor information ministry immediately responded to a request for comment.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party hailed the ruling as “a huge victory.”
“It has shown without any one percent of doubt that Imran Khan is innocent and has been thrown into prison illegally,” said PTI spokesman Syad Zulfiqar Bukhari in a statement.

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