Pakistani court stays deportation of US blogger Cynthia Ritchie 

06:25 PM | 7 Sep, 2020
Pakistani court stays deportation of US blogger Cynthia Ritchie 

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued a stay order against Interior Ministry’s decision to deport US blogger Cynthia Ritchie. 

Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the ruling and ordered the foreign national to submit all her grievances to the court before the next hearing. 

On Saturday, Ritchie had challenged Ministry of Interior’s move to reject extension in her visa in the high court.

During today’s hearing, the counsel for the US national said that the ministry has not cited any reason to rejection extension in his client’s visa. 

To which, the chief justice remarked numerous visas are rejected on a daily basis in the country without any reason. He added that visa not falls under the category of basic rights but it is a privilege.

 Ritchie in her pleas said that she had been staying in Pakistan for over a decade, adding that she provided all relevant documents for getting extension but the request was rejected.

On September 2, the Ministry of Interior rejected the visa extension application of Cynthia Dawn Ritchie, a US blogger, and asked to leave the country within 15 days.

According to a spokesman of the ministry, the visa extension application of Cynthia Dawn Ritchie had been rejected and instructions had also been issued to her for leaving the country within fifteen days.

The order comes after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) expressed anger over the explanation given by the ministry in Cynthia’s case and gave it a final chance to render proper assistance to court. 

Meanwhile, the American blogger claimed in her tweet that the interior ministry had rejected her application "under pressure".

"The MoI — under pressure best known to them — has for the first time, in my over 10+ years in Pakistan, rejected my visa application. No reason has been given. We have a right to file an appeal & will do so. A higher forum must entertain my application & upon merits grant visa," she said.

The US blogger has been accused leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party including former prime minister yousaf Raza Gilani and Rahman Malik of harassment. 

Activists of the PPP had moved the court against her slanderous remarks.