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Portugese officials visit Abu Salem in jail to talk about alleged violations of extradition treaty

Salem alleged he was being kept in isolation, and complained about the quality of food and hygiene at the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai.

A team of officials from the Portugese embassy in New Delhi visited 1993 Mumbai blast case convict Abu Salem in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai on Tuesday to check up on him, The Times of India reported.

They visited Salem after he alleged that his extradition order and human rights were being violated in prison. Salem was extradited from Portugal in November 2005.

In September, a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity court in Mumbai sentenced him to life in prison for his role in the blasts that killed more than 250 people. He is also serving a life sentence for his alleged role in the murder of a Mumbai builder in 1995. Salem has also been accused of murder and extortion in several other matters.

Salem complained to the Portuguese officials of several things. “I have been kept in isolation,” he told them. There is no one to talk to or interact all day... It is like mental harassment, to just keep looking at the walls,” he told them. “Just because of security reasons should I be kept like this in isolation?”

Salem reportedly also complained about the quality and quantity of food, and the condition of the toilets and bathrooms in the prison. Salem’s lawyer in India Saba Qureshi, Portugal’s honorary consul from Mumbai Captain Somesh Batra, a Central Bureau of Investigation officer, and Deputy Superintendent of Police Shivkumar Jain were also present at the meeting.

Qureshi alleged that the conditions in the prison violated Salem’s human rights. The violations of his extradition order were even worse, she added.

The Portugese officials must focus on “the violation by Indian authorities of the extradition order by trying him [Salem] for excessive charges and punishing him in violation of the assurances given”, Qureshi said. “These violations had, in fact, led to the highest judiciary in Portugal having terminated the 2005 extradition order in 2012.”

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