Ayyan Ali: Supermodel in a Pakistani jail


Fashion-Model-Ayyan-Ali.jpg

For the last two weeks Adiala jail in Rawalpindi has hosted an unlikely prisoner: 23-year-old Pakistani supermodel Ayyan Ali.

Ever since then Pakistani media outlets have been concerned to find out if she is living in the jail under especially favourable conditions.

On 14 March Ayyan Ali was detained at Islamabad airport on charges of money laundering: the $500,000 in her suitcase exceeded the legal limit of cash that can be carried out of the country, which is $10,000.

Ms Ali denies the charge and says the money was acquired legitimately from the proceeds of property sales and that she was unaware of these customs rules.

Prosecutors have said that if convicted of smuggling the money out of Pakistan, the model could be forced to pay a heavy fine and face a 14-year jail term.

Two weeks of legal wrangling went by and finally at the end of March her application for bail was dismissed - so she faces yet more time in Adiala.

Known simply as Ayyan, she began her career on the catwalk at 16 and quickly rose to become Pakistan's most successful and high-profile model. There was even speculation she would represent Pakistan in the Miss Universe pageant.

She also has a singing career and videos of this part of her career can be found on Youtube.

Now living in a prison barracks

Pakistani media have speculated about the conditions under which she is being held, whether or not she is being given special treatment, and whether the jail has fallen victim to Pakistan's notorious "VIP culture".