NEWS

Pakistani held on Interpol charges

A prominent member of Greece’s Pakistani community, who condemned the alleged abduction of Pakistani nationals by Greek intelligence officials last year, was yesterday arrested on charges of human trafficking. Javed Aslam, head of the Athens-based Unity of Pakistan organization, claimed he had been arrested on trumped-up charges, suggesting that there were political reasons behind the move. «I was told I was being arrested for trafficking illegal immigrants but I received a court acquittal on September 29,» Aslam told Kathimerini. Police countered that Aslam’s arrest was not linked to charges brought against him by Greek authorities but to a separate set of charges issued by Interpol at the request of Pakistani authorities. Aslam has applied for political asylum and is to remain in detention until his appeal is examined by a council of appeals court judges. Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities are to send a file on the charges against Aslam to a Greek prosecutor who will decide whether to order an extradition. Leftist and human rights groups said they would be staging a march in solidarity with Aslam at 5 p.m. on Saturday in central Athens. «It is time we protested the criminalization of the activities of Pakistanis in Greece because theirs is a pure voice of resistance to the international parastate as well as the government and its tacit support of abductions, secret jails and wiretapping,» a statement from the Stop The War Coalition said.