VOA Journalist Released By Immigration Authorities
August 20, 2009 at 11:09 AM (PT)
A journalist from PAKISTAN who was hired by the VOICE OF AMERICA to come to the U.S. to work with the network has been freed on parole by immigrations officials at DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT in WASHINGTON after being detained for 10 days. RAHMAN BUNAIREE was hired by the VOA to work at Pashto-language DEEWA RADIO in WASHINGTON for a year after armed men blew up his house in JULY; he was given a visa and arrived in the U.S., where he was taken into custody after speaking to immigration officers.
The WASHINGTON POST reports that BUNAIREE's detention may have been the result of comments he made to the officers that indicated his arrival in AMERICA was for political asylum purposes and not purely for work, as was indicated by the J-1 exchange program visa. He may not reapply for entry under a J-1 visa but can request asylum or similar relief to stay in the U.S. rather than return to PAKISTAN, where his family remains and where the Taliban is reportedly targeting him.