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A catch-22 for the Dars; Family scared to ask for more help.

Byline: By IAN HERNON Political Correspondent

DEPORTED Bootle school governor Arif Dar is too scared to apply for help from British officials in Pakistan.

He fears that he will again be arrested, beaten up or killed by the military police if he takes up an offer from immigration minister Liam Byr ne.

Bootle MP Joe Benton said: "Arif is in a catch-22 situation.

"If he sees British officials he and his family will be victimised, if he doesn't see them they can't come back to Merseyside."

Mr and Mrs Dar and their four youngest daughters were returned to Pakistan in April after losing a five-year asylum battle.

Since landing, Mr Dar has been arrested three times, interrogated for up to nine days and thrown out of moving cars.

Last week, in an apparent breakthrough, Mr Byrne agreed to reconsider the deportation and investigate the treatment of the Dars.

But that involves physical examination of Mr Dar's injuries by British officials in either Islamabad or Lahore, and he has been threatened with further abuse of himself and his family if he continues to complain.

In a letter to the minister, Mr Benton said: "Unfortunately, Mr Dar doesn't feel able to contact either office. Having been detained without charge and subject to brutal treatment on several previous occasions, he is a man living in fear.

"His primary concern is that any contact from him with UK embassy offices would compromise his security with the Pakistani authorities. Given his past treatment, I can't blame him."

He asked Mr Byrne to consider alternative ways to investigate the plight of the Dars.

Meanwhile Dar family supporters are seeking to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

A file on the treatment of the Dars both before and after deportation has been sent to Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights organisation Liberty.

Azbaa Dar, the eldest daughter who escaped the original immigration swoop on their Bootle home, remains on the run in England.

CAPTION(S):

AFRAID: Arif Dar
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 21, 2006
Words:336
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