World Refugee Day, Refugee journalist in a tight spot


A Pakistani refugee journalist living in Malaysia for 12 years has not been resettled yet. The Pakistani government has contacted Interpol several times to extradite the journalist, but Interpol has refused to take action saying that they cannot arrest or deport a refugee without serious charges.
Refugee journalist, Syed Fawad Ali Shah’s life was in danger of writing news against missing persons in Pakistan, corruption of top bureaucracy, terrorists and smugglers.
He was repeatedly warned to avoid writing on such topics and was eventually kidnapped by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). After being released from the custody of the intelligence agency, he was injured in a bomb blast in Peshawar.
Due to constant violence, intimidation and false allegations and concocted cases by the government, Syed Fawad Ali Shah reluctantly left the country and came to Thailand, from where he arrived in Malaysia and became a UNHCR registered refugee.
After many interviews and investigations, the UNHCR forwarded Fawad’s case to the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in 2016, after rejecting the application for resettlement he again sent the application for reconsideration by the International Rescue Committee to USCIS but received no response after 6 years. Refugee journalist says he was getting old waiting for resettlement.
“I feel like I’m going to die in the same way as a refugee” he lamented. Fawad said that after him, thousands of people who came to Malaysia and Thailand as refugees have resettled in other countries and are living peaceful life but is still being treated like a stepson. He also wrote many letters and wrote columns about human rights organizations regarding the slow pace of resettlement of eligible refugees, but no one took note of it. He says that he is still under threat from the Pakistani intelligence agencies that they will kill him in Malaysia or deport him back in any illegal way for which has lodged a report in the local police station.
“I still receive threats from various sources but I am struggling to remain safe and make both ends meet,” he says. The United States, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, the UK and Japan are human rights claimants, but no country has yet bothered to take any interest in his resettlement. The life of an animal is better than his life, as he can neither live nor die, and he has no identity.
He is being punished by infamous spy agencies for writing facts. No journalistic organization ever raised a voice for him. Despite his long absence from Pakistan, the Pakistani government has registered three fake more cases against him, including sedition, conspiracy, spying and cybercrime, to facilitate his return to Pakistan, he informed.