Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pakistan's state of emergency

Just gotten an email from Avaaz about what's going on in Pakistan at the moment. (President General Pervez Musharraf has imposed martial law, sacked the Supreme Court and shut down the media and basic freedoms, saying that it's necessary for the War on Terror.)
This is from an email written by Asma Jahangir (head of the Pakistani Human Rights Commission and the UN's Special Rapporteur for freedom of religion worldwide), who is under house arrest in Lahore:

There is a strong crackdown on the press and lawyers... The Chief Justice is under house arrest (unofficially). The President of the Supreme Court Bar (Aitzaz Ahsan) and 2 former presidents, Mr. Muneer Malik and Tariq Mahmood have been imprisoned for one month under the Preventive Detention laws...
There are other scores political leaders who have also been arrested. Yesterday I was house arrested for 90 days... the President (who has lost his marbles) said that he had to clamp down on the press and the judiciary to curb terrorism. Those he has arrested are progressive, secular minded people, while the terrorists are offered negotiations and ceasefires.
Lawyers and civil society will challenge the government and the scene is likely to get uglier. We want friends of Pakistan to urge the US administration to stop all support of the instable dictator, as his lust for power is bringing the country close to a worse form of civil strife...
There is a petition here that you can sign, asking other countries to stop supporting Musharraf with military aid.

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