Pakistani father charged with parental kidnapping


June 2, 2015

Source: Chicago Sun Times

A north suburban man is facing federal kidnapping charges for allegedly taking his children out of the country without their mother’s knowledge.

pakistan

Skokie resident Murtaza Ali, 44, was charged with one count of international parental kidnapping by a federal grand jury, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Ali took his three minor children on a flight to Istanbul on May 2, federal authorities claim. The children’s mother did not know about the trip or give permission for them to travel abroad.

She realized they were missing when Ali and the children didn’t show up to pick her up from a social gathering, authorities said. Once she made it home, the house was a mess and their luggage and passports were missing.

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 Ali, a Pakistani national, called the children’s mother from Turkey and said he planned to take them to Karachi, Pakistan, with him, authorities claim.

He was arrested at O’Hare International Airport when he returned with the children on May 6, authorities said.

Ali is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court, the statement said. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Abducted to Pakistan – Parental Child Abduction


International Parental Child Abduction – We can help

Under Pakistani family law, which is based on Islamic law, the father controls virtually all aspects of his family”s life.

PakistanChild

He decides where his wife and children will live, how the children are to be educated and whether or where they may travel.

Courts rarely, if ever, give custody of children to a woman who is not a Muslim, who will not raise the children as Muslims, does not plan to raise them in Pakistan, or has remarried. In all probability, even if the mother wins custody, the children would still need the father”s permission, to leave the country. Any matter of custody in Pakistan can only be resolved through the appropriate local judicial system.

We can assist you. We can locate and help you bring your abducted child home.

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Danmark: Tahirs døtre bortført i halvandet år: Fanget i Taliban-helvede


Desember 28 , 2014

Kilde: extrabladet.dk

10-årige Duaa og 12-årige Hera har været i Pakistan i halvandet år, men trods efterlysning hos blandt andet Interpol, er de stadig ikke kommet hjem.

tahir hera og duaa

Siden midten af 2013 har de to søstre Duaa Tahir Bukhsh og Hera Umar Bukhsh på henholdsvis 10 og 12 år været efterlyst hos det internationale politisamarbejde Interpol.

De to piger er blandt de i alt 27 danskere, der optræder på Interpols liste, men hvor de fleste på listen er sporløst forsvundet, er de to piger langt fra umulige at finde, lyder det fra de to pigers far, 46-årige Tahir Bukhsh.

– De er ikke forsvundet som sådan, for vi ved, hvor de er, men der sker bare ikke en skid alligevel, siger den frustrerede far til Ekstra Bladet.

Han fortæller, at de to piger blev bortført til Pakistan af deres mor i 2013 i forbindelse med en samværssag, og siden har de ikke været i Danmark.

Tahir har selv været i Pakistan to gange, og senest var han af sted i et halvt år for at kæmpe for at få døtrene hjem.

– Sidst fik jeg kørt deres sag helt til dørs. Det vil sige, at deres visa er udløbet og deres udvisningsdom er sådan set lavet dernede fra, siger han.

Se også: Leder efter bror på tredje år: – Han gik bare

Langsomme til at reagere
Både pigerne og deres mor er danske statsborgere, og pigernes mor, Afsheen Bukhsh, er efterlyst internationalt gennem Interpolmed krav om udlevering til Danmark.

BUKHSH, AFSHEEN Wanted Interpol

Alligevel går sagen kun langsomt frem.

Selvom Tahir har fået hjælp af både den danske ambassade i Islamabad og af nordisk politi, har kampen om at få pigerne hjem fortsat været fyldt med frustrationer.

– De er jo bundkorrupte i Pakistan, så der er lang vej fra at dommen om udvisning er afsagt, til at politiet reagerer. Så flytter de børnene lidt, og så kan de ikke finde dem, så det sejler lidt, synes jeg, siger han.

Se også: 600 danskere forsvinder hvert år

Bor i terrorramt by
Lige for tiden er sagen desuden sat lidt i bero, fordi pigerne, ifølge Tahir, befinder sig i byen Peshawar, som i sidste uge blev udsat for en brutal massakre på en skole, hvor 141 mennesker, hvoraf de fleste var børn, blev dræbt.

Nordisk politi tager derfor ikke til området, som er stærkt plaget af opgøret med Palitan. Uroen i området bekymrer da også Tahir.

– Militæret og politiet gør jo meget mod Taliban, men de er jo modsat begyndt at kidnappe børn for fuld styrke, så det er jo en ulidelig situation endnu mere end det var før, siger han.

I løbet af tiden, pigerne har været bortført, er det begrænset, hvor meget Tahir har haft mulighed for at se dem.

– I starten havde de hele tiden fået at vide, at de snart skulle tilbage, men at flyet var aflyst og så videre. Deres mor har så efterfølgende brudt min kontakt med dem, men da jeg så så dem sidst, jeg var i Pakistan, var jeg fremmedgjort over for dem, så de havde fået det indtryk, at det var mig, der var skurken, siger han.

– Det var meget hårdt, men jeg havde indstillet mig på, at det var det, der ville ske.

Giver ikke op
Selvom sagen har kørt i lang tid og har kostet ham mange penge, er Tahir dog fortrøstningsfuld.

– Jeg skal nok få dem hjem. Jeg vil ikke give op. Om det tager et år mere eller en uge mere er sådan set underordnet, jeg skal nok få dem hjem, lyder det.

Selvom han er fortrøstningsfuld, er han dog ikke tilfreds med forløbet, og især Interpol-samarbejdet kniber det med tilliden til.

– Vi ved jo hvor de er. Det er jo ikke terrorister, det er to børn, vi snakker om her, siger han.

Kilde: Extrabladet.dk

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UK arranged marriages: Kidnapping, rape and murder in the name of family honour


November 26 , 2013

Source: ABP News

“We have kidnappings, abductions, assaults, sexual offences. Anything that you can imagine could happen, does happen, in the name of honour,” says Nazir Afzal, Crown Prosecutor for the north-west of England.

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And murder – 10 to 12 cases a year. Yet as the hyper-active, smartly dressed lawyer concedes in his Manchester office, violence invoked in the name of family honour, mostly by citizens of South Asian and Middle Eastern origin, is often hidden and unreported.

Mr Afzal knows about honour, having grown up in Birmingham in a Pakistani Muslim household.

Honour, he says, can be a good thing, helping bind families and communities together.

But, “at the moment in so many communities, in so many families, it is merely used to suppress women, to oppress women. So, if they misbehave in some way, or make their own choice, they have dishonoured the family. If men do the same, well it’s men – you know they do what they want. Regrettably too often it’s used to control women.”

After World War II, Britain received waves of migrants from its former colonies in India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh.

Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and others came, some for higher education, but mostly to work in the factories around London and in the Midlands and north of England.

dishonor_murder

In England, generations who self-identify as Asian now number more than 4 million, 8 per cent of the English population.

‘In the name of the father, the son, and the male members of the family’

Arranged marriages are a still a feature of migrant communities, with parents agreeing that their children will marry, particularly first cousins. But for teenagers growing up in the United Kingdom, torn between the strictures of home and the freedoms of 21st century Britain, arranged marriages too often become forced marriages.

“There are probably between 8,000 to 10,000 forced marriages or threats of forced marriages in the United Kingdom every year,” Mr Afzal says.

“We prosecuted more than 200 cases last year of honour-based violence. What we have here are crimes in the name of the father, the son and the blessed male members of the family.”

Currently there is no law against forced marriage in the United Kingdom. That will change early next year, with new legislation similar to that introduced this year in Australia.

Hundreds of young girls disappear from British schools every year

Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a unit devoted to trying to prevent young people, mostly girls and women but also boys and men, being compelled to travel abroad to marry someone whom in many cases they have never met.

The Forced Marriage Unit handled 1,485 cases last year, 35 per cent of them involving teenagers aged 17 or younger. One of its biggest problems is trying to track down people who travel to South Asia and never return.

Mr Afzal says a British government survey of school pupils highlighted the problem.

“They discovered hundreds and hundreds of young girls, and by that I mean 11, 12, 13-year-olds, who would just disappear off the school rolls.”

While it is illegal in the United Kingdom for anyone to marry under the age of 16, marriages involving children still happen in South Asia and the Middle East.

Sometimes girls do not return to Britain until they are pregnant, the theory being that this may assist the process by which the husband seeks residency in the United Kingdom.

Girl told to ‘put a spoon in your knickers’ at airport to avoid being sent abroad

Jasvinder Sanghera, who escaped a forced marriage by running away from her Sikh family home in Derby at the age of 15, formed Karma Nirvana 20 years ago to help people in trouble.

She says the Leeds-based charity has received more than 30,000 calls since 2008.

“To me that’s a drop in the ocean … it could be quadrupled,” she said.

 

Ms Sanghera recalls an occasion when a girl feared she was being taken abroad against her will.

“The call handler said, ‘Put a spoon in your knickers. When you go through security it will go off and at that point you’re going to be stopped by a security guard and say I’m being forced to marry’. Which is exactly what she did, and it saved her life.”

Campaigning on the issues of forced marriages has given Ms Sanghera a high profile, an MBE, a meeting with prime minister David Cameron and with countless senior police and other government officials. And yet she believes schools, police and communities are not taking forced marriages and honour-based violence seriously enough.

“If you are Asian and missing from education, the same questions are not asked as [of their] white counterparts here in Britain,” she said.

“And that has not changed because we know there are hundreds going missing off our school rolls. Maybe they’re not being forced into marriage, but the point is, ask the question and look into it. They’re not even doing that.”

As for police: “There are some police forces which are doing sterling work now and trying to get it right. On the ground it’s a different story. There are 43 police forces across the UK and I would refer to potentially four [getting it right]. You know, it’s very much dependent on the person you get on the day.”

British police have been severely criticised for their failures in a series of high-profile honour killings:

  • Banaz Mahmud, 20, strangled on the orders of her father and uncle
  • Surjit Athwal, 27, murdered on the orders of her mother-in-law and brother-in-law
  • Shafilea Ahmed, 17, suffocated by her parents.

In each case, police initially, and in some cases repeatedly, failed to comprehend the seriousness of the threat.

As Ms Sanghera tells trainee detectives in Birmingham, relating the Banaz Mahmud case: “She told police her family was planning to kill her because she’d left an abusive marriage and was seen kissing a man outside a Tube station. And she was not believed. She was dealt with as being melodramatic, fantasising.”

Just a month later she’d been raped and garrotted, her body packed in a suitcase and buried in a garden.

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Conduct After Capture ( CAC) Course for Civilians / Companies that Operate in High and Medium Risk Areas


June 8 , 2013

ABP World Group Ltd.

Kidnapping is the number one form of monetary extortion around the world. It’s used so often by criminals, guerrillas, separatists, rebels, terrorists and drug cartels as a means of funding and intimidation that it’s practically an art form. There are even different regional styles.

For the CAC course (Conduct after Capture) contact ABP World Group. The objective of this course is to better prepare civilians for a kidnap/hostage situation and improve their chances of getting home alive. This course will be held in the south of Spain.

CAC Course

Al-Qaeda leader urges kidnapping of Westerners

Kidnappers

Kidnapping cases differ in the motivations of the kidnappers, the demands being made for the release of the hostages, and the circumstances where the kidnapping has occurred. Terrorist and criminal groups both use kidnapping as a tactic to achieve their goals.Terrorist groups often target foreigners. In some instances, terrorists have killed their kidnap victims when their demands were not met. Foreign employees, particularly those in the oil and mining sectors, aid and humanitarian workers, journalists, tourists and expatriates are regularly targeted.Terrorists may use local merchants such as tour and transport operators to identify foreign visitors for potential kidnap operations. Hostages may be taken by their captors into a neighbouring country. Humanitarian workers and tourists in Kenya have been kidnapped by militants and held in Somalia.Pirates have kidnapped hundreds of people, usually holding them for ransom. Pirates have attacked all forms of shipping, including commercial vessels, pleasure craft (such as yachts) and luxury cruise liners. For more information you should read the Travelling by sea bulletin.In South America, terrorist groups are known to kidnap for ransom. Colombia has one of the highest rates of kidnappings in the world, often perpetrated by groups such as the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN) in rural areas. Foreigners, including children, have been kidnapped and murdered.Cultural festivals are also attractive places for terrorists and criminals to identify and target tourists for kidnapping. These festivals bring people to predictable locations along unsecured routes.

10 Countries Where You’re Most Likely be Kidnapped for Ransom

1. Afghanistan

There’s nothing quite like a war with al Qaeda and the Taliban to put this country at the top of the kidnapping list. Combine that with the fact that much of the landscape is still lawless and no wonder this country reported 950 kidnapping for ransom per year. Now that the war is over, a power vacuum certainly exists and the place is still a haven for terrorists, arguably making it even more dangerous than when American forces first arrived.

2. Somalia

Though piracy has been driven to a three-year low thanks to ships hiring armed security and increased action from the world’s navies, Somalia remains a high risk for kidnapping because of the abject poverty and a government not strong enough to stop crime. At least two people are taken in Somalia every month. Among those taken offshore, there are still more than 200 hostages in the region; just in January, a hostage was killed in a botched rescue attempt by French forces.

Hostage Situations

3. Iraq

American combat forces may have left Iraq, but the danger is still ever present. Though no official stats on kidnapping are collected, the country topped this list in 2007 with an estimated 1,500 kidnappings that year. Crisis-management assistance company Red 24 still places the country in the top three because of its combined political, terrorist and criminal groups all carrying out kidnappings for ransom. Not to mention the ever-present threat of civil war, which will only increase the likelihood of kidnappings should violence between Sunni and Shias resume to its 2007 level.

4. Nigeria

This country records more than 1,000 kidnappings for ransom a year. At the time of this writing, seven foreigners have been taken by armed militants from a construction company’s camp after a guard was killed. [Editor’s note: The seven hostages have since been reported as murdered.] Seven hostages makes this the biggest kidnapping yet in a country plagued by Islamic extremist groups. The one responsible for the latest kidnapping is called Ansaru; they are linked to al Qaeda and were allegedly responsible for an attack on Nigerian troops traveling to Mali in 2012.

5. Pakistan

Official American ally Pakistan has been known to harbour terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden, right under the nose of its military. They also harbour hostages—official statistics say there are more than 15,000 kidnappings in Pakistan a year, but the real number could be much higher due to underreporting. Perhaps more troubling is that between 10 and 20 percent of kidnappings are for ransom. Most of the others were killed during rescue and, in the case of Daniel Pearl and others, beheaded.

6. Yemen

Last December, when an Austrian man and a Finnish couple were kidnapped in broad daylight on one of the safest streets in the capital city of Sana’a, it highlighted just how lawless the city has become. Sana’a is normally immune from the tribal instability that affects the rest of the country, but this year kidnappings, car-jackings and general crime is on the rise. In the country overall, more than 200 foreign nationals have been kidnapped over the past 20 years.

7. Venezuela

Venezuela has one of the highest rates of abduction per capita in the world—just asked Wilson Ramos, the Venezuelan-born Washington Nationals catcher was kidnapped in his own country last year before being rescued. There were 1,000 kidnappings in just the first 10 months of 2011. The country puts “Express Kidnappings,” in which a ransom is demanded that an individual or family can easily pay, on the map. Sometimes you’ll hear of “The Millionaire Walk,” in which a traveller is trapped by a cab driver who picks up armed thugs before taking the passenger to a number of ATMs—maxing out their bank account with every stop.

8. Mexico

Thanks mostly to the failed War on Drugs, the Council for Law and Human Rights reports that there are about 72 kidnappings a day in Mexico, which puts the annual kidnap rate at 26,280 for the year. This is in direct contradiction to the statistics reported by the federal police, which put the kidnapping rate at 1,083 between January and September in 2012—a rate of 4.5 kidnappings per day. The council blames the abduction situation on corruption within the federal police. “The big problem we have in Mexico, in terms of security, is precisely the bodies that should provide security to citizens,” Fernando Ruiz , president of the Council for Law and Human Rights, told The Latinos Post.

9. Haiti

Thankfully, kidnappings have gone down in Haiti since their peak between 2004 and 2006, but the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti reports that they are still “fairly frequent.” The U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security agrees, but also says incidents are less predictable and more widespread than they used to be. Montreal’s La Presse suggests that kidnappings have not exploded since the earthquake in 2010, but they do rise during the holiday season, thanks to the belief that families have more cash on-hand during that time to pay for gifts and school tuition.

10. Colombia

Incidents have dropped over the past 10 years, but kidnapping still remains an ever-present threat in Colombia. The country still has one of the highest numbers of kidnap victims in the world; in the last few years, kidnappings have started to rise again from the all-time low of 172 in 2009 to 258 in 2011. The rise has been attributed to kidnappings carried out by drug cartels such as Los Rastrojos, but guerilla groups like the FARC AND ELN still play a prominent role.

 Other known risk areas:

Alergia, Libya, Morocco, Jordan, Philippines, Lebanon, Syria, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa.

The Risk is eminent in the middle east and many of the South and Central American countries, Africa and in some parts of Asia

For the CAC course (Conduct after Capture) contact ABP World Group. The objective of this course is to better prepare civilians for a kidnap/hostage situation and improve their chances of getting home alive. 

This course will be held in the south of Spain.

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Builder refuses to pay extortion, gets shot at


June 1, 2013

Source: mid-day.com

In yet another incident of gangsters calling the shots from inside the jail, two unknown assailants, after allegedly receiving instructions from a gangster lodged in jail, fired at a city-based builder in Borivli (E) yesterday after he refused to bow down to the monetary demands.


A policeman inspects the bullet-riddled car. Four rounds were fired at 62-year-old developer Rajaram Manjawkar while he was on his way to work. He and his driver escaped unhurt. Pics/Nayan Shahane

The assailants fired four rounds at 62-year-old developer Rajaram Manjawkar while he was on his way to work, but he and his driver escaped unhurt. Police are treating the incident as an extortion case after the builder, who was implementing slum rehabilitation projects in the area, had received an extortion call from an unknown person wherein he stated he was calling on behalf of Yusuf Bachkana, an aide of Chhota Rajan, and threatened to kill him if he did not pay up.


Police officers conduct a panchnama at the turn where the incident occurred near Suvidya High School, Devi Pada in Borivli (E)

Bachkana, who was arrested in 1998 by DCP Ambadas Pote in a murder case, is presently lodged in a jail in Karnataka. According to Borivli police, the two assailants fired at the Manjawkar’s vehicle at 11 am near Suvidya High School, Devi Pada in Borivli (E). The incident took place just a stone’s throw (200 metres) from the builder’s apartment after he left his residence for his office. A resident of Sahyadri Complex, Manjawkar was travelling in a Skoda, driven by his driver Dinesh Mandarkar (39).

Warning shots?
Police said that when the vehicle was making a turn, the attackers who were waiting at the corner of the road showed up and sprayed bullets at the car. Two bullets hit the back windshield of the car, while there were two bullet holes on both sides of the vehicle’s back doors. Three spent shell casings and one cartridge were later found at the spot. “Based on the bullet shells, we believe that a pistol has been used in the attack. The assailants, however, managed to escape from the spot. And there is no CCTV coverage in the area,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mahesh Patil.

SRA project
Police said Manjawkar has developed five buildings under the SRA scheme, and on May 20, he received a phone call asking to make a payment. Cops, however, refused to divulge how much money was demanded. Soon after the call, a terrified Manjawkar had approached the Kasturba Marg police with a written complaint. The police were probing the complaint but no case was registered at the time.

One of the suspects arrested by the Kasturba Marg police is Parshuram Nalavde, who was serving a murder sentence in Nashik jail, but had recently come out on parole. Nalavde’s parole was to end on May 31. Police said that they would also question Bachkana.

Sunil Deshmukh, assistant commissioner of police (Dahisar division), said, “We are in the process of recording the victim’s statement and ascertaining if he is involved in any property disputes. We have registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC and relevant section of the Arms Act. We are also checking call details from Manjawkar’s mobile phone.”

Sunil Paraskar, additional commissioner (north region), said, “We have arrested Parshuram Nalavde (26), who was in Nashik jail after being convicted in 2008 for a murder by the Kasturba Marg police. We believe he has conspired with others to carry out the attack, as he knew certain things the extortionists had mentioned on phone to Manjawkar. We are searching for his other three associates.”

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Gunmen abduct Pakistan ex-PM Gilani’s son at election rally


May 10, 2013

Source: virginislandsnewsonline.com

BBC World – Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says his son has been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen during an election rally.

800x_Ali_Haider

Mr Gilani told the BBC his son Ali Haider – a candidate for the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) – was seized in the central city of Multan. He accused his political opponents of being behind the attack, which came ahead of Saturday’s elections. One person was reportedly killed when the attackers opened fire at the rally. No group has so far claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack.

Taliban threats 

Eyewitnesses say the gunmen arrived at the gathering in a black Honda car and a motorbike.”A couple of them started shooting,” a teenager at the rally told Pakistan’s Geo TV.

Musa-Gilani-Pakistan

Musa Gilani: “If we don’t get my brother by this evening, I will not let the election happen”

“A man standing in front of Gilani was hit and fell down. Then they grabbed Gilani, put him in the car and sped away.” Reports say the person who died in the shooting could have been Ali Haider Gilani’s bodyguard or secretary. Another five people were injured. Eyewitnesses say a bullet also hit Ali Haider and he was bleeding when the kidnappers put him in the car, Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper reports.

Ali Haider – the youngest son of the ex-prime minister – is contesting a seat in the Punjab provincial assembly. “We want our brother back tonight. If we don’t get him, we will not allow elections to be held in our area,” his elder brother Ali Musa – who was in tears – later told reporters.

Police have now sealed off all entry and exit point in Multan, and a massive search operation is under way, local media report.

Yousuf Raza Gilani served as prime minister until June 2012, when he was forced out of office by the Supreme Court over his refusal to pursue a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari. But it is still a powerful political family, with Mr Gilani’s sons standing in the elections to the provincial and national assemblies, the BBC’s Mike Wooldridge in Islamabad says.

Sharif’s pledge

The run-up to the 11 May elections has been marred by a series of attacks across the country in which more than 100 people have been killed. The Pakistani Taliban have threatened to prevent the PPP, the Awami National Party (ANP) as well the MQM party, from conducting their election campaigns because they are considered by the militants to be too secular. The military has pledged to deploy tens of thousands of troops to polling stations on Saturday to prevent further attacks.

In a separate development, Nawaz Sharif – the man tipped to be Pakistan’s next prime minister – promised to end the country’s involvement in the US-led war on terror if elected. Mr Sharif – who leads the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) – told the BBC the move was necessary for there to be peace in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world.

Pakistan has been part of the US-led fight against Islamist militancy in the region since the 11 September attacks in the US in 2001. Mr Sharif’s remarks may cause concern among Western leaders, the BBC’s Orla Guerin reports from Islamabad. However, Mr Sharif – who served as prime minister twice in the 1990s – declined to say whether he would stop military operations against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan – another leading Pakistani politician – is continuing to recover in hospital after falling off a makeshift lift at an election rally earlier this week. Doctors say that the former cricketer who leads the Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) party – received stitches in the head and treatment for injuries to his spine.

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Is Pakistan considering implementing the Hague Convention on Child Abduction?


May 1, 2013

Source: youblawg

Reports have come out of Pakistan this last week that the country is now seriously contemplating implementing the Hague Convention on Child Abduction.

Pakistani_Child

The reports mark extremely positive news for Child Abduction practitioners, and will receive enthusiastic support from the other countries (of whom there are more than 80) who have ratified the Convention.

At present, Pakistan ranks as one of the countries with the highest abduction rates to and from the UK. As Pakistan has never ratified the international agreement (Hague Convention) the best methods of securing a child’s return following abduction do not apply. There is currently a Protocol in place, which was originally implemented in 2003; however the Protocol has failed to bring about the same results seen in Convention cases. Attempts to secure the return of a Child following a Parental or family abduction therefore tend to be far more hit and miss than in many of the countries that have ratified the Convention.

With cases of child abduction increasing year on year, any move which strengthens international co-operation for the return of abducted children can only be seen as a positive step forward.

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‘My daughter was abducted’


April 13, 2013

Source: The Guardian , Kate Hilpern

Two fathers talk about what happened when their daughters were abducted by their mothers and taken abroad

Gary Mulgrew

Gary Mulgrew, whose daughter was abducted by her mother: ‘What if she’s waiting for me and I haven’t come?’ Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

Aamina Khan’s bedroom is much like any seven-year-old’s. Her wardrobe is filled with clothes, her school uniform is laid out on her bed and her toys sit in a pile in the corner. The only thing that is missing is Aamina. Her father, Safraz, 44, who was awarded custody of her in 2008, has not seen his daughter since September 2011, when her mother fled the country with her.

“It’s the worst thing ever. Aamina was this happy, bubbly, talkative, active, little girl and our bond was so close. Now I just go home to an empty house day after day, not knowing where she is, or if she’s even safe,” says her father, a senior research scientist, who lives in South Croydon.

The number of children abducted and taken abroad by a parent has risen by 88% in just under a decade, according to new government figures. About 270 new cases were reported in 2003-4, while last year there were more than 500 new reported cases. But perhaps most surprising of all is that 70% of these abductors are mothers.

“This has certainly not always been the case, but it’s definitely changing,” says Joanne Orton, advice line co-ordinator for the charity Reunite. “We often see cases where the mother is a foreign national who has come to England, developed a relationship that then falls apart and she wants to go home to the comfort of her family. As Britain becomes increasingly multi-cultural, we can only see this trend increasing, and it can take months, and even years, of going through the courts for the father to see their child again, and even then, they may never succeed. It’s a major problem.”

Safraz met Aamina’s mother Humma, whose family originates from Pakistan, when they had an arranged marriage in 2004. “After we married, she spent more and more time with her own family, who lived about 10 miles away. When she became pregnant, I was overjoyed. I thought it would be our fresh start.”

But when Aamina was born in July 2005, Humma, who is a doctor, took a job 80 miles away. “Her mother went with her to look after Aamina while she worked, and I was invited to bring Aamina home at weekends. It was hard, but at least I saw her, and I became a very interactive father.”

But soon afterwards, Safraz spotted an email on the family computer, showing that Humma had applied for a job in Bermuda. “I was heartbroken and called the employer to say that I’d seek advice from a solicitor if Humma took our daughter.” The company withdrew the job offer, but Humma was angry and things went downhill. “She increasingly lived at her parents, while Aamina mostly stayed with me.”

In 2008, they separated and Safraz was given residency, while Humma got contact rights. But when, in September 2011, Safraz went to collect Aamina from a two-week stay with her mother, no one answered the door.

“The car wasn’t there and I felt sick. I called on Humma’s uncle nearby and he said they’d gone on holiday. I reported her missing to the police, and they discovered she had been taken to Abu Dhabi, then to Lahore. The penny then dropped about Humma’s recent visits to Pakistan. She had been setting up a new life for her and Aamina.”

Since then, Safraz has written more than 1,000 letters and attended countless court hearings in both England and Pakistan. “I’ve got my MEP on board and I’ve been to some horrible places in Pakistan, handing out photos and writing to schools. But still nothing. The police can’t find Aamina. It’s not that I want Aamina taken away from her mother – just that England is her home. She likes rainbows, her school and swimming lessons and she’ll be confused in a country she doesn’t know and where she must surely believe she can never trust anyone again if the main person in her life suddenly disappears from it.”

lahore canal road bang bang bangggg

The emotional effect of parental abduction on children can be devastating, says Orton. “The child loses trust in the people they should be able to trust the most, and from speaking to parents following a return, it seems that trust is lost not just in the abducting parent, but both parents. That can affect them for life – their self-esteem, their confidence and their expectations of others, causing them all sorts of problems further down the line.”

Unfortunately for fathers such as Safraz, locating children is particularly difficult in countries that are not signatories to the Hague convention, says Orton. “With countries that have signed up – the majority of which are in Europe, as well as Australia, Canada, America and some others – there are procedures in place that can speed things up, although it’s not always smooth even then. But with countries that aren’t signatories, such as Pakistan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, children can very easily disappear.”

Another major problem facing fathers is that many feel at a disadvantage within the court system.

Gary Mulgrew, 51, whose 11-year-old daughter was abducted six years ago by her mother and taken to Tunisia (also not a signatory to the Hague convention), says: “The courts are an utter nightmare for fathers. They seem to be predisposed to making things more difficult for them.”

Gary was one of the three millionaire British bankers, known as the NatWest Three or the Enron Three, who were accused of fraud against their former employer NatWest. They ended up in a US jail after losing a high-profile extradition case. Until the case started, Gary lived in Brighton with Laura, his wife of 12 years, their son Calum and daughter Cara Katrina. “But then we started appearing in the newspapers a lot. The stress would put most marriages under strain and especially ones like ours, which wasn’t strong.”

Calum, then eight, chose to live with Gary and while Cara Katrina, who was three, officially lived with her mother, she stayed with Gary most of the time.

“Laura had met this Tunisian guy Abdul, whom she married three months after I was extradited, so she spent most of her time with him. But I started to get worried about her taking the children away with him. She was American and hated living in the UK, only ever having done so because of me, so I took out a prohibitive steps order, which was supposed to prevent her taking the children out of the country without my permission, and I agreed to a large divorce settlement if she agreed to stay in the UK.”

tunisia

Then Gary found himself in Houston for four years – curfewed, tagged and eventually imprisoned. “Calum was with my family in the UK. I knew he was safe. But Cara Katrina just disappeared along with Laura. I was in this appalling situation where I was in another country, absolutely helpless and the police in Britain, when I phoned them, just ignored me. The minute you say you’re extradited, they think you’re a criminal and you can hear the change of tone of their voice when you say the abductor is the mother. They think: ‘Oh well, that’s not too bad then.'”

Calum travelled regularly to Houston to see his dad, but Gary felt at a loss when he tried to explain why his mother and sister had vanished. “Laura was always a good mother and even when we divorced she had stated that I was a good father, so it was difficult to understand her rationale. Calum had a few letters from his mother via his school, but there was never a return address.”

Even when Gary’s prison sentence came to an end, he found himself on probation in the UK, unable to travel to look for Cara Katrina. Finally, in April 2010, he got the go-ahead and boarded the first available flight to Tunisia.

“I’ve been back eight or nine times since, trying to find her, but I don’t know where to start and the authorities are useless, here and there. They say that unless I’m prepared to prosecute Laura, they won’t help, but I don’t want that. Who would that help? I’m not even saying that if I found Cara Katrina, I’d bring her home. I have to think about what’s best for her and after six years, I might have to accept that the right thing is for her to stay there. But, as it is, I don’t know if she’s safe, if she’s happy, if she’s educated. I don’t even know if she’s with her mother.”

Calum is now 17. “You can imagine what this has done to him. But we make the most of what we’ve got and have a strong relationship. We don’t talk about it much, but I always buy an extra ticket at the cinema and I encourage people to keep buying Cara Katrina birthday and Christmas presents, which I keep for her, so she knows we’re not giving up on her.”

Last year, Gary got some professional counselling. “Someone said I needed to treat it as a bereavement – not of Cara Katrina, but of the five-year-old Cara Katrina. But the thing about your children is that your love for them is intense, so this doesn’t ever get any easier. In my positive moments, I dream of her being treated well and that Abdul has this big family where she laughs and sings and goes dancing. But the nightmare moments are where I let myself think none of those things might be true and that she’s just waiting for me and I haven’t come.”

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Drugged Caretaker- Father Abducts his three kids


January 23, 2013

Source: Ahemdabad Mirror

Krishnabhavna Bavi, a resident of ISKCON temple, has accused husband of kidnapping the children after drugging caretaker.

 Krishnabhavna Bavi

Krishnabhavna and Hari Signamal during happier times. She has alleged that Signamal had drugged her aide and abducted the three children

 

The daughter of a priest in ISKCON temple has accused her husband of kidnapping their three children. The children were visiting their father at a city hotel when the alleged ‘abduction’ took place. According to police, the couple – Krishnabhavna Bavi and Hari Signamal – is living separately and have filed for a divorce.

As per court’s order, Signamal, who is a director in a Steel company in Bellary, Karnataka, is allowed to meet his children every week, from 8 am to 8pm within 1-km of Krishnabhavna’s residence. A complaint has been filed in Vastrapur police station. According to sources, Signamal, who lives in Bellary, used to fly in every week to meet his three children — Surbhi (12) Om (9) and Vishvambar (6).

The daughter of a priest in ISKCON temple has accused her husband of kidnapping their three children. The children were visiting their father at a city hotel when the alleged ‘abduction’ took place. According to police, the couple – Krishnabhavna Bavi and Hari Signamal – is living separately and have filed for a divorce.

As per court’s order, Signamal, who is a director in a Steel company in Bellary, Karnataka, is allowed to meet his children every week, from 8 am to 8pm within 1-km of Krishnabhavna’s residence. A complaint has been filed in Vastrapur police station. According to sources, Signamal, who lives in Bellary, used to fly in every week to meet his three children — Surbhi (12) Om (9) and Vishvambar (6).

Krishnabhavna with her three children

Krishnabhavna with her three children Surbhi (12), Om (9), and Vishvambar (6). A court had allowed Signamal to meet the children once a week, from 8 am to 8pm.

CARETAKER DRUGGED

“On Sunday, the children went to meet their father at a city hotel. They were accompanied by a sevak of ISKCON temple Nirav Panchal. However, as soon as they reached the hotel someone drugged Nirav and left him unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he found the hotel room empty. Signamal and the children were nowhere to be found,” police said.

Krishnabhavna approached the police immediately and cops searched the hotel, airport and railway station. But neither Signamal nor the children were found. Meanwhile, Krishnabhavna, who lives in ISKCON temple, told the cops that she had married Signamal in 2000.

“They lived in Bellary. But trouble started in October 2012, when Hari started harassing and abusing Krishnabhavna. Tired, she and her children came to live with her parent priest Yashomati Das at ISKCON temple. She briefly went back to her husband, hoping for a reconciliation, but things didn’t work out. So they started living separately. They both approached the court for children’s custody. The court allowed Signamal to meet the children once every week, as long as he met them within 1-km of their mother’s residence,” police said.

HABEAS CORPUS FILED

Sources at ISKCON temple said, “Krishnabhavna has filed a Habeas Corpus petition in High court. Ever since the incident, she is determined to handle everything on her own. Her husband Signamal is not reachable. Already, Krishnabhavna was going through a bad phase and now the kids have been taken away. But she is a brave mother and will handle this situation well.”

Meanwhile, Vastrapur Police Inspector M R Sharma said, “We will do all we can to find the children. We have lodged a non-cognisable complaint in this regard.”

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