Three arrested Pakistanis to fight deportation from UK

April 22nd, 2009 - 6:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown London, Apr 22 (ANI): A lawyer for the three Pakistani men facing deportation after being arrested in anti-terror raids earlier this month says his clients will fight to stay on in Britain.

Mohammed Ayub says the men are in Britain lawfully on student visas, are not extremists and have done nothing wrong.

The men were among a group of 12 swept up in a highly publicised counter-terrorism operation across northern England earlier this month, the Dawn reported.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had said at the time that officials were on to a “very big” terrorist plot, but police have yet to charge anyone in the case.

British authorities say the men are a threat to national security and immigration officials are trying to deport 10 of them. Two others remain in police custody.

The men are in Britain lawfully on student visas, are not extremists and have done nothing wrong, their lawyer said.

British police on Tuesday released nine of the arrested men into the custody of immigration authorities. The men, aged between 22 and 38, are now being held by the UK Border Agency, which controls immigration into Britain, and face deportation.

They were originally arrested in the raids on April 8. One man was released into the custody of the UK Border Agency three days later.

The government has come under pressure to strengthen its visa rules after it emerged that 10 of the 11 arrested Pakistani men were in Britain on student visas, while one was a British national.

Relatives of the suspects in Pakistan had pleaded their innocence and demanded access to them, saying neither the British nor the Pakistan government had provided them with information on their detention.

The raids had to be brought forward after Britain’s top counter-terrorism policeman was photographed holding clearly legible briefing notes on the operation. He resigned over the gaffe, although Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told lawmakers this week the investigation had not been compromised. (ANI)

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