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Pakistanis who fled detention appeal

Two Pakistani girls who fled from the Mirihana detention center in Sri Lanka have made an appeal for protection saying they face grave danger if deported to Pakistan.

Sadia Khan and her 11 year old sister Amala Khan said they, together with their mother, are now in hiding in Sri Lanka fearing arrest and deportation.

Both girls contacted the Colombo Gazette and spoke of their ordeal since arriving in Sri Lanka and after they fled the Mirihana detention center.

While the Colombo Gazette is unable to verify their claims, the two girls say their passports are with the Immigration officials and that they had also approached the US Embassy in Colombo for help, but to to avail.

Sadia Khan, who had contacted the Colombo Gazette on an earlier occasion as well, said that she has been a target of Pakistan officials after she continued to write against the Pakistani military on her blog and about terrorism in Pakistan.

Khan, whose father is not alive, had also converted to Christianity together with her mother and sister.

Fearing for their lives in Pakistan they had arrived in Sri Lanka in January 2012 and sought to register with the UNHCR.

However Khan claims that while their appeal for asylum was pending they were arrested in March this year and placed at the Mirihana detention center.

They however fled on April 9 fearing they will be deported to Pakistan and have been in hiding since. Sadia Khan continues to post updates on her blog http://mullahmilitarymilitantsandjudiciary.blogspot.com/ and has even appealed for help through her blog from President Mahinda Rajapaksa on humanitarian grounds.

The Immigration and Emigration department had confirmed last month that some Pakistanis had fled from the center. (Colombo Gazette)

Report by Easwaran Rutnam

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