Saturday, February 5, 2011

US Calls for Pakistan to Adhere to Legal Obligations: Illegally Detained Diplomat Has Full Diplomatic Immunity

Islamabad - The United States Government once again calls upon the Government of Pakistan to abide by its obligations under international and Pakistani law and immediately release the American diplomat illegally detained in Lahore. The U.S. Embassy reiterated to the Government of Pakistan today that his continued detention is a gross violation of international law.
The U.S. Government has repeatedly communicated to the Government of Pakistan that the illegally detained diplomat enjoys diplomatic immunities under the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations (1961).
The U.S. Government notified the Government of Pakistan on January 20, 2010 that the American diplomat was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad as a member of the administrative and technical staff. Under the Vienna Convention and Pakistani domestic law, he is entitled to full criminal immunity and cannot be lawfully arrested or detained.
This morning, the American diplomat was remanded in court without notice to the U.S. government, without his lawyer present, and without translation assistance. He was denied due process and a fair hearing.
We deeply regret that the January 27 events in Lahore resulted in the loss of life following an attack on the diplomat by armed assailants. However, the Government of Pakistan must comply with its obligations under international and Pakistani law and ensure that he has immunity from criminal jurisdiction.
We look forward to working with the Government of Pakistan toward the expeditious resolution of this incident. Responsibility for the safety and well-being of the illegally detained diplomat rests with the Government of Pakistan and Punjab provincial authorities.(PR)

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