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Posts tagged with: CJP

Update @ 0230: SC suspend convictions CJ manhandling case

The Supreme Court on Thursday admitted appeals of Islamabad’s police and administration officials convicted of manhandling deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The new full court stopped the implementation on the convictions till further orders. Ten judges headed by the newly appointed Chief Justice under PCO Abdul Hameed Dogar took up the appeals of former senior police and administration officials of the capital.

These officials including Inspector General and Commissioner were found guilty of contempt after manhandling the Chief Justice on March 13. They were sentenced to a maximum of one month in prison or imprisonment till the court is adjourned. But on Thursday the full court stopped the implementation on the convictions till further orders. It must be kept in mind that it is the same bench which will in due course re-evaluate the legality of President Musharraf’s case in a few days which had been under the axe with the older bench before a martial law was imposed on Pakistan which in efftect was an attempt to silence the independence of the Judiciary of Pakistan

Update @ 1723: Observations after meeting the Non-PCO Judges

Members of civil society, lawyers, business persons, doctors and womens rights and human rights ativists met with Judges who have not taken oath under the PCO to express solidarity and show support

Following is a summary of this meeting.

Treatment of Judges

  1. Guards were taken away the same night that emergency was declared. (Saturday 3rd November) and PCO was imposed on Judiciary and Press.
  2. On Sunday PCO Judge Muneeb went to court and ordered the Protocol officer to have all the judges who have not taken the oath to immediately remove their belongings from their chambers. At the same time orders had also been passed that their official cars will not be allowed into the High Court premises. Their belongings were dumped into sheets and were taken to their houses by their peons and Daftaris.
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Its time for street protests : Imran Khan

Published in DAWN on November 13th
By Shehar Bano Khan

Looking defiant and all set to mobilise students on the streets on Wednesday (tomorrow) against Gen Musharrafs emergency rule, Pakistan Tereek-i-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan lashes out at the Washington plan of installing its dream team of moderates.

Dismissing the election formula for being devised and dictated by the US administration, Mr Khan proclaims the students march will be the most momentous since the independence movement.

“It is going to be the most important movement since the movement for the independence of this country. Our theme is the restoration of the pre-emergency judiciary. Our party has been carefully planning this movement and we feel now the time is right to come out on to the streets to protest against the Provisional Constitutional Order, and reject the holding of elections under emergency. How can elections be held when the country has been put under emergency, when theres suspension of fundamental rights, no recourse to justice and rampant rule of the jungle? blitzes Mr Khan.
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Update @ 0503: Free and Fair Election Network on Elections Under Emergency – An Oxymoron

Via e-mail from the Thematic Group Coordinator — Afreina Noor, at the FAFEN’s (Free and Fair Election Network) Secretariat in Islamabad, who sent in the text of their position paper on Elections Under Emergency – An Oxymoron. FAFEN is a coalition of thirty leading Pakistani civil society organizations and was established in 2006 to observe the election process, educate voters, and advocate for electoral and democratic reform, FAFEN has also announced that they are considering the possibility its election observation of the conditions they have outlined are not met given the currently situation in Pakistan:

Elections under a “state of emergency” run contrary to best election practices around the world. Elections are not sufficient condition to democracy. They must be held in an environment that provides a level playing field to all contenders and enables the will of people to be expressed through the vote without any pressure. The fact that elections will be held under the state of emergency raises serious concerns about the fairness of the electoral process.

As a result of the imposition of the state of emergency on November 3, 2007, Pakistan lacks conditions that are a prerequisite for a free election. The independence of judiciary has been compromised. Fundamental rights of people continue to be suspended. Political activities are banned. Citizens and civil society activists are arrested by security and intelligence agencies. Media is controlled by new laws to restrict its ability to give unbiased information to people.

Rights to assembly, association, expression and movement are fundamental to a free election. Any election that is held without citizens and political contenders enjoying these rights cannot be fully free and fair.

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Update @ 0319: Peace rally at Pakistan Consulate in New York – Nov 14

Via an e-mail from the South Asian Law Student Association, comprising of students from the CUNY (City University of New York) School of Law, Columbia University, Hunter College and students from New Jersey schools who are holding a student-organized peace rally this week, on November 14th (Wednesday) outside the Consulate General of Pakistan in New York at 12 pm sharp.

We think it’s imperative to protest the gross violations of human rights that have escalated over the past weeks, and continue protesting, until there is a restoration of democracy. Let’s show solidarity with the students, lawyers and citizens of Pakistan. Bring placards, banners and posters, strongly denouncing Musharraf’s “Emergency” in Pakistan. Spread the word bring your friends and family!

Justice for the Judiciary, Free speech for the Media & Human Rights for All

For more information, please contact:

Asma bajwa on +1 (917) 721-2341 / asma_chaudhry28 AT yahoo.com
Maryam Arif on +1 (857) 383-8047 / maryam.arif AT mail.law.cuny.edu
Beena Ahmad on +1 (917) 806-1997 beena.ahmad AT mail.law.cuny.edu

Update @ 0320: People’s Resistence issues a Statement to Support Judiciary

A group of concerned citizens from the People’s Resistance (umbrella group formed to resist the ’emergency’) have been meeting the non-PCO judges over the last few days to extend solidarity and appreciate their stand.

Below please see a summary of the key points that emerged from these meetings

Civil society coalition, People’s Resistance, is appalled at the attempt by General Musharraf to destroy the independence of judiciary of Pakistan.

Civil society condemns the following steps undertaken by General Musharraf to undermine the judiciary and to demoralise the honourable judges who have refused to take oath under the PCO:
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Update @ 0942: National Party’s General Secretary is targeted by Pakistani Government

Via e-mail from Umar Farooq with the People’s Resistance which is a coalition of various organizations, left-wing political parties, NGOs and human rights organizations, labor and trade-union federations, academics, students, and citizens:

Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, General Secretary National Party, was sent on judicial remand to Landhi District Jail on November 8, 2007. Since hen no one has been allowed to meet with him. On November 10, 2007. Mr. Bizenjo’s Lawyer Arif Khan, Central Information Secretary National Party, Mr. Jan Mohammad Buledi, and Umar Farooq of People’s Resistance tried to visit him in the jail. They were informed that there are strict orders from authorities to not let anybody visit Mr. Bizenjo. They were also told that the visitation ban seems to be indefinite.

Its feared that Mr. Biznjo is being held in Solitary Confinment in the jail. Mr. Bizenjo is the first politician who is being charged with sedition that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. It seems that the government is targeting Mr. Bizenjo because he enjoys very good relationship with both Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Mr. Nawaz Sharif. In fact last week Ms. Benazir Bhutto asked him personally to act as an intermediary between her and Mr. Nawaz sharif. Mr. Bizenjo was trying to bring all the political parties and civil society groups together to work towards the common goal of the restoration of Independent Judiciary and repeal of the Martial Law.

Update @ 1543: Communique on Pakistan by Paris Bar Association’s Chairman

The following is the English translation (thanks to Claude Almansi) of a message to lawyers and the judiciary in Pakistan who have been arrested in the past few days by the Chairman — Yves Repiquet, of the Paris Bar Association. First blogged here (in French) and the original press release (in French) is now available here.

Communique on Pakistan: indignation of the Betonnier de Paris
(Chairman of the Paris Bar Association)

Yves Repiquet, Chairman of the Paris Bar Association, voices his indignation and very strong preoccupation after the severe and repeated impairments against the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He condemns the repression that strikes Pakistani lawyers who, for having demanded that the judges’ independence be preserved, saw their freedom of expression – a necessary condition of all legally based democracy.

He reminds of the friendship links uniting the two bar associations and states the solidarity of the lawyers of the Paris Bar association with the Pakistani lawyers.
Press contact:
Axelle de Chaille
Phone : 01 44 32 49 39
adechaille AT avocatparis.org

Update @0930: American Bar Association organizes national rally in DC – Nov 14

Received via e-mail from the president of the ABA (American Bar Association) — William Neukom, through one of the ABA’s lawyers, ABA is calling on all lawyers across the US to join the peace rally in DC on Wednesday this week where they will be marching to the US Supreme Court to show their support for lawyers and the judiciary who have been arrested, detained and charged in Pakistan:

Dear fellow lawyers,

The ABA is planning a national effort to show solidarity with lawyers in Pakistan and to support restoration of the rule of law there. We are organizing a march in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, November 14, 2007, where a critical mass of lawyers wearing black suits will gather and walk around the United States Supreme Court Building.

To make this event truly national, we need your help. I urge all state and local bar associations to hold similar events on the same day. Imagine the impact of lawyers from all regions and walks of life speaking with one voice on one day in support of justice. Together, we can mobilize American lawyers and show our united support for the rule of law and lawyers in Pakistan.

The Bar Association of San Francisco is gathering today with other Bay Area legal organizations in front of the federal building. The New York City Bar and the New York County Lawyers Association are planning a rally for next Tuesday. You can see the statements that other bar associations have issued here. It is essential that American lawyers work together to support the rule of law. Please join our effort to show the world that Pakistan’s lawyers are not fighting alone.
Please contact either Roseanne Lucianek at lucianer AT staff.abanet.org or Joanne O’Reilly at oreillyj AT staff.abanet.org in the Division for Bar Services with further questions.

Update @ 0210: Peace rallies in London & San Francisco tomorrow

Received via e-mail from student bodies at universites in the UK and US:

A peace rally being held in London, UK tomorrow starts at 1400 BST in front of Downing Street and it is expected that there will be a huge turnout while at 1400 in San Francisco , USA a rally is being staged jointly by the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek e-Insaf), FOSA (Friends of South Asia) and ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), outside City Hall which is at the Civic Center in SF.

Key rules to adhere to so that all of us rally for a united front

I. Do not bring any political party flags and refrain from all party politics. The sole purpose of the protest is to strongly condemn themartial law in Pakistan and demand democracy and freedom for Pakistanis.
II. It is okay and actually very important to be critical of General Musharraf and the US government’s support for his dictatorial policies but it is *NOT* ok to talk about the war in Iraq and other policies of the Bush government. By not condemning them, we are not agreeing with those policies, we are just making sure that our objectives do not get lost in a larger debate. It is also *NOT* ok to talk for or against any particular political leader, this is not a PTI or PML(N) rally.
III. Let’s make sure that we focus on the following demands, all ourplacards and slogans should be around these topics such as –

1. No Emergency/ martial law

2. Restore judiciary

3. Release political prisoners

4. Restore supremacy of constitution

5. Free media

6. Oppose US intervention in Pakistan propping up military dictatorship

Update @ 2030: Peace Rally outside MacDonald’s in Karachi today

The following came into us via e-mail from a representative with the Peoples’ Resistance which is a coalition of various organizations, left-wing political parties, NGOs and human rights organizations, labor and trade-union federations, academics, students, and citizens, demonstrated today (Friday) evening outside MacDonald’s at Sea View in Clifton in a flash peace rally:

The public rally was a direct resistance against the state-imposed ban on public demonstrations. The citizens of Karachi have decided categorically that they will maintain a civil disobedience movement until the dictatorship has been broken. YAYYYY for Karachi!!!

The demonstrators, who had orders to remain peaceful at all times, shouted slogans against the imposition of emergency, the clampdown on the judiciary and the media, and the military dictatorship. Some of them also held lighted candles to mark the evening vigil. Pamphlets were also distributed. A number of onlookers joined us within minutes and asked for placards and candles to hold. They also participated in chanting anti-State and anti-Musharraf slogans. A family of three (with a child around two years old) stopped their car in the middle of the road and came out to join the demonstration. Amazingly awesome response we’re getting from the public.
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Update @ 1745: Imran Khan sends message on the battle for Pakistan

We received the following e-mail from Imran Khan who highlights the massive crackdown on genuine opposition, police brutality being used as a tool to induce fear for those attending peace rallies, and the need to restore an independent judiciary among other valuable insights:

The imposition of martial law under the garb of emergency should make it abundantly clear to everyone that dictators cannot afford even a semblance of either an independent judicial system or a free media. And neither can the assortment of criminals camouflaged as politicians who collaborate with dictators.
No one is fooled by Gen. Musharafs latest deception to hang on to power. The war on terror has served him well so far and so why change a successful strategy; spread fear in the western capitals by invoking images of bearded men with guns and in the meanwhile brutally crush all dissent within the country, as was recently done by the Burmese Military. Having inducted pliant and amoral judges through the PCO, the next step would be to massively rig the elections while keeping the media muzzled. What he hopes is that he will again have a rubber stamp Assembly, a controlled majority and a friendly opposition, while real power will rest with him for another 5 years.

So, what we are witnessing is the first phase of the plan. Massive crackdown on the genuine opposition, lawyers, human right activists and the civil society. He is hoping that the police brutality will induce enough fear in the people for him to crush all dissent within a couple of weeks, before he takes the next step of getting himself endorsed by his pocket judges.

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Update @ 1018: Sindh Democratic Forum encourages united peace rallies

The following signed statement was received from the SDF (Sindh Democratic Forum) via the HRCP and calls on everyone to unite when rallying for a democratic Pakistan peacefully:

The members of Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF) have expressed their deep shock and strong condemnation at the imposition of Martial Law in the country. It is a great embarrassment for the people of Pakistan that in the 21st century a chief of army staff can suspend the constitution, put the judges of higher judiciary behind bars, including the chief justice of Pakistan, suspend the  fundamental human rights, clamp censor on media by blocking all news channels and arrest lawyers, political workers and civil society activists on a massive scale. That this is all done only to save the skin of general Musharrafs illegal and unconstitutional army rule only adds to the sum of shame of the people of Pakistan.

While the democratic and progressive societies of the world are marching towards peace, prosperity and intellectual pursuits, the people of Pakistan are mired in the rule of army generals whose total aim is to maintain their self and privileges even if the cost be the integrity and security of the country and its people. The generals of Pakistan army have time and again proven their gross ineptitude in the handling of the affairs of the state. The breakup of the country in 1971 was the biggest example of this ineptitude. Rise in extremism, civil war in NWFP and Balochistan, unrest in Sindh and Punjab further add to this perception. Military centric foreign policy has isolated the country in the region and increased the hostility towards Pakistan among its neighbouring countries.

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Update @ 0944: CEO of Geo TV sends message on extent of media clampdown

The following comes in, via a Facebook e-mail exchange, from Mir Ibrahim Rahman who is the CEO of Geo TV in Pakistan, a channel which has been blocked by the Pakistani government who has also begun talks with foreign governments to have the channel’s transmission blocked overseas. In his message, Mir, states that he is safe at the moment despite having received numerous death threats, his TV network along with the Jang newspaper group been victimized while senior hosts, journalists, producers and the chairman have all had their phones bugged and recorded:
I am kind of Okay. They have shut down all our channels. I can’t believe Musharraf has become what he has become. I still feel sorry for him though. I cant believe THAT more than anything else. Anyway, pray for Pakistan. It needs it. Things are a lot worse than you think, since you are probably not watching what is going on as all of Pakistan’s private news channels have been blocked for past 6 days.

Tomorrow they are going to revise the army act, which will give them powers similar to that of the infamous patriots act where they can ‘court martial’ civilians even and hold them without due process or cause for months at a time. Another nail in the coffin of our constitution. actually its only now that I have truly begun to have felt the power of and appreciated words and promises. I guess which is what our or any constitution is- when I realized what life can be without them. we normally don’t feel it. I guess, apart from some of our lawyer friends. and most of us definitely think the common man will definitely not feel it as he or she has many more important things to think about and worry about than a bunch of words written in a book 40 years ago.

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Update @ 1905: Asma Jahngir appeals for support to lawyers and judges in Pakistan

The following e-mail was just sent in to us from Asma Jahngir (Chairperson of HRCP), appealing for support to members of the judiciary in Pakistan who have been attacked and arrested alongside scores of lawyers who have been disappearing after being detained and arrested at peace rallies over the last few days:

I am fortunate to be under house arrest while my colleagues are suffering. The Musharaf government has declared martial law to settle scores with lawyers and judges. While the terrorists remain on the loose and continue to occupy more space in Pakistan, senior lawyers are being tortured.

The civil society of Pakistan urges bar associations all over the world to mobilize public opinion in favor of the judges and lawyers in Pakistan. A large number of judges of superior courts are under arrest. Thousands of lawyers are imprisoned, beaten and tortured.

In particular the cases of Muneer A Malik, Aitzaz Ahsan, Tariq Mahmood and Ali Ahmed Kurd are serious. Muneer A Malik, the former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and leader of the lawyers movement has been shifted to the notorious Attack Fort. He is being tortured and is under the custody of the military intelligence. Tariq Mahmood, former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, was imprisoned in Adiala jail. No one was allowed to see him and it is reported that he has been shifted to an unknown place. Mr. Ali Ahmed Kurd, former Vice Chair of the Pakistan Bar Council is in the custody of military intelligence and being kept at an undisclosed place. Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan, President of the Supreme Court Bar is being kept in Adiayala jail in solitary confinement.

Representatives of bar associations should approach their governments to pressure the government of Pakistan to release all lawyers and judges and immediately provide access to Muneer A Malik, Tariq Mahmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Aitzaz Ahsan. The bars are also urged to hold press conferences in their country and express their solidarity with the lawyers of Pakistan who are struggling to establish the rule of law.

Asma Jahngir
Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan
Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan