The biggest challenge for foreign prisoners from developing countries is arranging funds to travel back home once their sentence is complete.
Often inmates’ country refuses to take them back forcing them to spend their life in a Pakistani jail. Foreign prisoners continue to languish in the country’s jails despite completing their sentences.
Chukwudi Anthanatius Silver is a 57-year-old Nigerian who was imprisoned in District Prison Karachi. Silver was arrested on his arrival at Jinnah International Airport for carrying cocaine and imprisoned for two years. Silver’s sentence ended in February 2022, however, due to financial constraints he was unable to afford a ticket to Nigeria. Silver was a driver back home and earned fifty to eighty dollars per month.
After his sentence ended, his wife sold some property to arrange for his tickets – unfortunately, that was not enough to cover the travel costs. His wife and seven kids waited anxiously to reunite with Silver.
Sharing his difficult experience Silver said that he was discriminated against by other
inmates because of the way he looked; the language barrier made it difficult to communicate
with the local inmates. Since the people who came with him had left after their sentence
ended, he struggled to fit in. His health deteriorated and he experienced blood pressure issues
due to stress.
The administration in District Prison Karachi reached out to the Committee for the Welfare of Prisoners-Legal Aid Office (CWP-LAO) to help with Silver’s repatriation. With the generous support of JAS Travel Group, the CWP-LAO was able to repatriate Chukwudi Anthanatius. JAS
Travel facilitated his repatriation by paying for 50% of his airfare.
Silver is now back home, safe and sound with his family. He has reached out to the Committee to express his gratitude for the efforts of reuniting him with his family.
The CWP-LAO is continuously striving for its repatriation initiatives. It is a unique public-private partnership established in 2004 with the support of the Sindh Government to provide legal aid and representation to those most vulnerable in Sindh’s prisons.
In addition to legal aid and welfare, CWP-LAO also highlights the plight of especially vulnerable prisoners for relevant stakeholders in the form of fact sheets and research papers.