From a leading gold merchant to prison: 63-year-old Hafeez languishing in London jail for years
Years ago, a Pakistani national and once-leading gold merchant filed an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against possible extradition to the US.
Years ago, a Pakistani national and once-leading gold merchant filed an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against possible extradition to the US. However, to this day, the man languishes in one of London’s notorious prisons in inhuman conditions, where he faces life without parole in prison if found guilty, awaiting a decision. The man’s name is Muhammad Asif Hafeez.
Details of Hafeez’s Case
The court papers read:
Hafeez is wanted for a trial in the USA for drug trafficking related offenses and for conspiring to import heroin into the US, carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Hafeez denies all charges, including that he was the “Sultan” of drugs.
The papers further state:
Hafeez, 63, initially trained as a commercial pilot but later moved to Dubai to join the family’s gold business. He has been a donor of Princes Trust, Imran Khan’s Cancer Hospital, and SOS Children charity.
Details of Hafeez’s Imprisonment
There is no concrete case against Hafeez in the UK, nor has he ever been charged for any wrongdoing in the country. Regardless, he is being held at the HMP Belmarsh prison – which houses some of the most dangerous local and foreign criminals involved in terrorism or deadly crimes.
The US government requested the prison to hold Hafeez in custody after being arrested from his multi-million pound Regent’s Park flat on the 25th of August 2017. The charge against Hafeez was a conspiracy to import heroin into the United States along with some Indian nationals from Kenya and other countries.
According to sources, Hafeez is being denied access to medical facilities and essential health care. His family has been barred from seeing him for nearly three years now; his sons, daughter, and wife were not allowed to meet him first in Wandsworth prison and now in Belmarsh.
Court papers reveal that Hafeez suffers from multiple health disorders. Sources state that ever since he was transferred to the southeast London facility, Hafeez’s health has majorly deteriorated, and he has collapsed several times, while being uncared for by the prison authorities.
According to sources, ever since Hafeez has been shifted to Belmarsh, he remains locked up for up to 23 hours a day and is allowed out of his tiny cell only for an hour, which badly impacts his health. Upon inquiry from the Ministry of Justice, a Prison Service spokesman said:
These claims are untrue. The prisoner receives regular medical care, can leave his cell for several hours a day, and has frequent access to video and phone calls. Hafeez is being kept at Belmarsh, as the facility is most suited to his security risk.
While speaking to a media outlet, friends and family members of Hafeez said:
We believe that the UK government has gone out of its way to torture him on instructions of the US authorities, especially after he took his extradition case to the ECHR.
Loved ones now continually worry for Hafeez’s health and wonder if they’ll ever be able to see him again.
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