Nepal: Refugees condemned to ‘hilly prison’ by visa fines

An Ahmadi Muslim Nawid Ahmad, 42, from Lahore in Pakistan, has a fine of over $100,000 hanging over him and his family.

Source: dailytimes.com.pk

Nawid Ahmad, 42, from Lahore in Pakistan, has a fine of over $100,000 hanging over him and his family.
He is a member of the Ahmadi sect of Islam, which is officially heretical in Pakistan. Ahmadis can face three years in jail just for saying the traditional Islamic greeting of “As-Salaam-Alaikum”.

Their mosque in Lahore was bombed in 2010, killing around 80 people.

Ahmad decided to leave in 2004 after he was shot four times — in the leg, chest and hip — in an unprovoked attack while out shopping.

I miss everything. My heart and soul is in Pakistan, but we could not stay,” he told AFP at his home in Kathmandu.

He came with five younger brothers and they added wives and children. Most have already been granted asylum in the United States, but to leave they must find the enormous visa fee which is an impossible task.

“This place is beautiful,” he added, gesturing towards the snow-capped Himalayas that lined the horizon. “But for us, it has become a hilly prison. We just wait and wait and wait.”

Even more tragic is the case of the Somali community. Many came in 2007 when smugglers promised them a new life in the Italian city of “Naples”.
“When we arrived here, the smuggler said …read more at dailytimes.com.pk

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