Detained asylum seeker urges High Court to free him - RTHK
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Detained asylum seeker urges High Court to free him

2020-12-16 HKT 13:46
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  • A Pakistani asylum seeker is challenging the legality of his eight-month detention at an Immigration Department facility. File photo: RTHK
    A Pakistani asylum seeker is challenging the legality of his eight-month detention at an Immigration Department facility. File photo: RTHK
Cecil Wong reports
An asylum seeker told the High Court on Wednesday that immigration staff had mistreated him, as he launched a legal bid to be released from their custody.

Ahmed Sani Salman filed a writ of habeas corpus, challenging the legality of his detention by the Immigration Department for more than 8 months.

He accused officers at the Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre of mistreating him and not providing him with medication he needs.

The Pakistani national was placed in custody pending his deportation after authorities rejected his non-refoulement claims.

He told the court he has been on a partial hunger strike since July – only eating chocolate and drinking water and tea – in protest against his treatment.

Representing himself in court, Salman said he is not a well man.

"Either deport me or release me, I can't be here any further," he said.

Salman said he has been suffering from joint pain and had sought treatment from Queen Mary Hospital prior to his detention.

But over eight months, officers at the centre simply gave him a painkiller that caused him allergies. They only provided him with the medicine prescribed by the hospital a few days ago, he said.

"I don't understand why [it happened this way]," he said.

But lawyers representing the government urged the court to dismiss the habeas corpus application, saying the Pakistani could abscond if he was released.

The lawyer pointed out that Salman had earlier been convicted of drugs and traffic-related offences.

Despite Salman stressing that he had served his prison sentences, the government's lawyer argued that there would be a high chance of him re-offending, adding that he is currently in lawful detention and not for an unreasonable amount of time.

Judge Anderson Chow reserved judgement to a later date, saying he aimed to deliver his ruling as soon as possible.