Posted by: nupl | November 15, 2007

LAWYERS DEMAND LIFTING OF STATE OF EMERGENCY IN PAKISTAN: Liken Pres. Musharraf to Pres. Arroyo

November 14, 2007

Press Release

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers [NUPL] condemns the continuing human rights violations in Pakistan, including the attacks against lawyers and judges under a state of emergency declared by Pres. Pervez Musharraf. The emergency rule, declared by Pres. Musharraf to fight ‘terrorism’ and ‘judicial activism’, came in the heels of a series of bomb blasts that killed and maimed hundreds of people. Thousands of people were brutally arrested including 1,500 lawyers. Eight lawyers including two women lawyers are facing false charges for treason. State security forces attacked the Supreme Court, whose Chief Justice was previously sacked by Pres. Musharraf. Human rights defenders and advocates were also attacked with the arrest and disappearance of members of rights groups monitoring the situation.

The human rights condition in Pakistan is akin to that prevailing in the Philippines today. The blatant violation of Pakistan’s government of the people’s right to assembly and expression and brutal repression of the right to life and liberty, its disregard of laws, and its open undermining of judicial independence is no different from the EO 464, CPR, Proclamation 1017, the extra judicial killings, disappearances and other violations of constitutional and human and rights by Pres. Arroyo.

In the same manner that we condemn Pres. Gloria Arroyo’s blatant disregard of judicial decisions we demand that Pres. Musharraf respect the decisions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan finding his emergency rule unconstitutional. We demand that the state of emergency, which was declared for no other reason than to maintain Pres. Musharraf’s hold to power, be lifted immediately. We also demand that the government of Pakistan release all those arrested for the mere exercise of their constitutional rights, including members of the legal profession and the judiciary.

NUPL calls on members of the legal profession to actively condemn these brutal attacks on colleagues in Pakistan and show solidarity with those who are experiencing repression similar to that committed against the Filipino people by Pres. Gloria Arroyo. NUPL urges Pres. Musharraf to respect human rights and allow the people to exercise their right to elect their President. NUPL join hands with concerned lawyers worldwide in condemning the brutal repression in Pakistan including the attacks on members of the legal profession and the judiciary for the exercise of the constitutional rights. #

Reference : Atty. Neri Colmenares—Secretary General

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