No breaches in Ahluwalia deportation
March 13, 2021 12:30 pm
Pal Ahluwalia and his partner Sandra Price [left] [Source: AP]. Ashwin Raj [right]
The deportation of the University of the South Pacific former Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia and his partner Sandra Price were conducted within the law.
This was established by the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission in relation to allegations of human rights violations in the detention and deportation of Professor Ahluwalia and Price.
Commission Director Ashwin Raj says processes and procedures that were followed were at all material times in accordance with prescribed law.
Raj says the Department of Immigration furnished the Commission with a response as well as documentary evidence refuting allegations of human rights violations by Professor Ahluwalia and Price.
He says the Commission also contacted Professor Ahluwalia on 7th and the 8th of February, followed by an e-mail on 13th February.
Raj adds on 14th February Professor Ahluwalia wrote back indicating that he will send a statement, but the Commission has received nothing to date.
The Commission Director says the team that attended to Professor Ahluwalia and Price included police officers, immigration officials and an officer from the Ministry of Health.
Raj says the officials were allowed entry into the premises, following specific instructions issued to ensure the safety of Professor Ahluwalia, Price.
He also clarified that all officers present on the premises disclosed their identity through official identification cards and that the officials were in the premises before curfew.
Raj says it was also established that Professor Ahluwalia and his wife disregarded numerous requests to hand over his mobile phone and continued to contact unknown persons.
Their phones were taken away after repeated requests by the officials to allow an orderly execution of the process and for safety and security of all parties present.
The Immigration Department has refuted allegations that Professor Ahluwalia and Price were at any time “roughed up” or manhandled.
The Department has also refuted claims that the couple did not have knowledge of their detention and deportation.
Officials had advised them that they would be detained and put on the next available flight to Australia.
FBC News has sent questions to Professor Ahluwalia.