After twelve years in captivity without law and judgment, Ehsan Arjemandi is finally a free man. But it is uncertain when he can come to Norway.
Ehsan Arjemandi’s family confirms to NRK that he is no longer in captivity. But he is still sitting in isolation at a secret address, waiting for help to get out of Pakistan.
The first Ehsan called when he came out of prison was his brother in Norway. Mohammed Arjemandi has fought a long battle to get him released.
– Is mom dead?
That was the first thing Ehsan wondered about, Mohammed Arjemandi tells NRK.
Sources NRK has spoken to confirm that Arjemandi receives help from the Norwegian consulate in Karachi.
– He has received a new passport, and I myself have paid for and sent a plane ticket, but we still do not know if he will get through the passport control at the airport in Karachi, his brother Mohammed Arjemandi says to NRK.
The brother lives in Norway, and hopes Ehsan can land at Gardermoen soon.
NRK has asked several questions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with this case, but NRK has not succeeded in getting an answer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Arjemandi family are Baluchis and come from the border areas between Iran and Pakistan.
Ehsan was arrested by Pakistani authorities on a family visit.
– Parts of our family live in Pakistan. In 2009, Ehsan went to visit the family, and was probably confused with another person and arrested, says Mohammed.
Eyewitnesses said at the time that it was both plainclothes and uniformed soldiers who arrested Ehsan.
Interior Minister confirmed arrest
The family believes that they have never received full clarity as to why he was arrested. At times, they did not even know if he was alive.
In 2010, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik confirmed to NRK the arrest of Arjemandi.
– I know the case well. He traveled around Pakistan with fake ID papers. We arrested him and he is still in our custody, Malik confirmed in the interview with NRK.
The brother said at the time that Ehsan should have been formally charged and brought before a court. Something that never happened.
When Ehsan Arjemandi was arrested, a separatist movement ravaged Baluchistan province.
Many Baluchis were arrested. Human rights organizations have long criticized Pakistan for arbitrary arrests.
In recent years, the authorities have released several political prisoners and initiated a reconciliation process. Sources in Pakistan say that the release of the Norwegian citizen is part of the ongoing reconciliation process.
The joy is great among the Arjemandi family, who have been waiting for this moment for twelve years.
“My mother is alive, but she is seriously ill and is in hospital in Iran,” says Mohammed.
He struggles to hold back his emotions. The hope is that Ehsan can visit mom before it’s too late. But he must first get out of Pakistan.