Peter Tatchell is bemused:
Noordin Mengal, a British citizen and Baluch human rights defender, was detained and deported by US immigration when he arrived at Newark Liberty airport from Dubai last week.
Mengal is the grandson of the veteran Baluch national leaders Sardar Attaullah Mengal and Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri. He is a representative to the UN human rights council on behalf of Interfaith International and is a member of the lawful, non-violent Baluchistan National party.
Baluchistan was invaded and annexed by Pakistan in 1948. It has been under military occupation ever since. Washington’s ally in the so-called “war on terror””, the Pakistani president and dictator Pervez Musharraf, has been waging a savage war against the people of Baluchistan, indiscriminately bombing civilian areas using US-supplied (pdf) fighter aircraft and attack helicopters.
Unlike Musharraf, some of whose army and intelligence services are protecting the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, the Baluchistan National party is peaceful, democratic and secular. Its members ought to be supported, not harassed, by the US.
It does appear very odd. From all I know about Mengal, there is no suggestion that he is a supporter of political violence.