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Posts tagged with: Lahore

Update @ 1139: First hand account of leading lawyer jailed at Sabzazar Police station

The following is a first hand account of being jailed at the Sabzazar Police Station, via e-mail coming in from Dr. Parvez Hassan who is an eminent lawyer that was arrested by the Pakistani security forces on November 5:

They herded lawyers in the police bus, about 35 of us. I knew nothing about where we were being taken after our arrest at the Lahore High Court on 5 November 2007. Speculation mounted in discussions in the bus but it was soon overtaken by the rumour/news received on some mobile telephones with the lawyers that General Musharaf had been removed and placed under house arrest. The hatred for Musharaf seemed so intense that this appeared the best news of the day although with the reported take over by General Kiani, it was sadly a case of “from the fire into the frying pan”.

The first thing when we arrived at the Sabzazar Police Station (further out of Lahore near Allama Iqbal Town) was that we were unlocked out of the police bus and searched. All mobile phones were confiscated. I do not use, have or carry a mobile phone and by this time the expectation, subtly fed to us, was that we would be taken from Sabzazar to jails in Bahawalpur, Sahiwal or Mianwali. I am a heart patient, I had a heart attack in 2004 and doctors at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore then operated me to place three stents in my heart blood vessels. I have been regimented since to taking several medicines, morning and evening. Some of these are important for the thinning of the blood to prevent strokes. When I saw the prospect of being held incommunicado without information to my family, I wanted desperately to reach out for my medicines.

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Update @ 2013: Police raids, more arrests and websites blocked

Via an IPS journalist and one of our SMS reporters on the ground:
– The central leader of the Communist Party of Pakistan — Jam Saqi, was away while police raided his house in Hyderababad

– A heavy police contingent is visible outside the Karachi Press Club while PPP activists Saeed Boota, Anis Fatima and Jahanzeb have been arrested.

– Benazir Bhutto’s press conference is now underway in Lahore after having started at 1945 (PST).

– The Government of Pakistan have blocked the website of The News, although Jang and DAWN News are still accessible.

– Deputy General Attorney — Yawar Ali Khan, has resigned from his office on Saturday to protest the imposition of emergency. Khan is the son of former chief justice of Pakistan, Yaqoob Ali Khan, and brother-in-law of Supreme Court judge Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday (one of the non-PCO judges).


Update @ 1215: Candlelight vigil at Lahore Press Club tonight

A large rally is being planned at the Lahore Press Club in Pakistan today. There have been peace rallies throughout the week and several activists, journalists, students, lawyers and academicians have been arrested and detained. It’s been a week since the Chief of Army Staff declared the state of emergency also known as martial law.

Lets mark this week with a candlelight vigil. Tonight, 7pm, at the Press Club in Lahore. Please tell everyone you know. A large, peaceful demonstration may be very effective. Don’t forget to please bring lots of candles candles and songs to the vigil tonight.

Please pass the word around about this rally, invite your friends and family to come along, tell your colleagues at work, send out e-mails. Spread the word out and see you there!


Update @ 1100: LUMS faculty have been released on bail

The following information was sent in to us from one of our sources, a student at LUMS (Lahore University for Management Sciences):
Faculty who had earlier been arrest from the LUMS (Lahore University for Management Sciences) have now been released on bail while the two groups of people who were arrested on Sunday and Monday in relation to their responses to the imposition of emergency where the first group of about 70 was holding a meeting at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s office in Lahore. The police came in (without warrants, from what I understand) and arrested those attending. This was not a protest, but a HRCP strategy meeting. These people were held at the Model Town police station and were released by Wednesday.

Since the HRCP have a global profile and the people that were arrested, are not people you arrest (yes, there are simply some people that you can’t arrest in this country), the pressure to release them was great.

The other group was the lawyers who staged a protest outside the Lahore High Court on Monday. 340 of them were arrested (many more injured by the police action that morning) under non-bailable terrorism charges. These lawyers have yet to be released. Still, from my contacts, I’ve learnt that they’ve spent the first week in jail in good spirits: The convicts already in jail are overjoyed! Their prayers have been answered! They have themselves legal advice!!! I believe they are giving the lawyers VIP treatment. 🙂

But seriously, things will change in another couple of days. Unless the pressure to relaease these lawyers increases, they may spend up to the next two months in jail.


Update @ 2113: Images from today’s Peace Rally at LUMS

The following images (via Flickr) were taken by the student body at LUMS (Lahore University for Management Sciences) where students marked Iqbal day in a peace rally on-campus while calling for the imposition of the state of emergency also known as martial law, to be lifted in Pakistan. People’s faces have been blurred in these images after Pakistani security forces have begun using such pictures to identify students and arrest them which has been the practice since police arrested students at a peace rally at the university earlier this week. More pictures are available here:

(Above & below: Students march across the LUMS campus)


(After the peace rally, students assembled outside the university’s dining hall where they held banners and placards in a silent demonstration)


Update @ 1830: Police cordon off Imran Khan’s house

Received via SMS:

Imran Khan’s house has been cordoned off by the police while Pakistani security forces have surrounded Shaukat Khanam Hospital in Lahore while in Rawalpindi, riot police have fired tear gas shells to disperse PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) political workers at the Committee Chowk.


Update @ 0912: SAFMA call on Pakistan Government to release media personalities

The following statement from the SAFMA (South Asian Free Media Association) was forwarded in to us by the AHRC (Asian Human Rights Commission), calling on the Government of Pakistan to release all detained journalists and media personnel, including the SAFMA founding Secretary General — Imtiaz Alam:

The South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) is shocked to hear of the sudden and irregular arrest of SAFMA founding Secretary General Imtiaz Alam in Lahore, Pakistan, on the afternoon of November 5th, 2007, and, alarmed that Mr. Alam’s current location is not known and that the Pakistani authorities have, so far, not even acknowledged his detention.

We, the Presidents of all national SAFMA Chapters in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, call on the Government of Pakistan to urgently acknowledge the custody of Imtiaz Alam and provide information of the circumstances of his arrest, the reasons for his detention and, the location of his detention.
We also point out that Mr. Alam, one of Pakistan’s most senior and most respected media personalities, is currently in poor health – suffering from a heart condition as well as hypertension – and warn that the Pakistani authorities must assume responsibility for his continued physical safety and medica
signed:
Lakshman Gunasekara
President, SAFMA


Update @ 13:40: Police Outside LUMS, Lahore

An email has just come in that the Inspector General Police has given orders to the Police, Rangers and Ant-Terrorist Force to arrest the students from LUMS where a protest rally was scheduled today at 13:00

Four Army trucks and a police convoy have been positioned outside LUMS. The protest is still to proceed only the venue has been shifted to the Sports Complex.

LUMS Wednesday Afternoon and Police outsideLUMS Latest Updates:

  • Students running around the campus to evade the police it seems the administration is supporting student protest
  • 2:35 PM Right now they just trying to get the students into the hostels but the place is too big
  • 2:34 PM Police men have entered they can not canvas the campus
  • 2:37 PM police have also called in a contingent of female cops
  • 2:38 PM I think they are going to retreat and wait till more police and female police reach army is holding
  • 3:04 PM me: police have retreated out around 500 students have made a wall and sat down on the road in front of the academic wall
  • 3:05 PM while the police have blocked the road on the other side of the gate its a staring contest

Read details at Lahore Metroblogs – Protest @ LUMS – November 7th, 2007 & Live Campus Updates* – Protest by Students of FAST – NU, Lahore, Pakistan.


Update @ 0515: Rally at university in Lahore today

The following information on the rally being organized by university students in Lahore today afternoon, came in via email from the Student Council at LUMS:

The students at LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences) in Pakistan are holding a peaceful rally today at 1300 (Pakistan Standard Time) inside the gates. We are expecting hundreds of people to attend given the support that we have seen at rallies we organized earlier, for example, over 500 participants showed up at the rally we held on Monday this week where  they demonstrated peacefully. At today’s rally, we will be welcoming back our instructors/professors who had been detained illegally for 2 and a half days, but have now been released on bail.

For more details on this rally or to stay updated on upcoming rallies being organized by the LUMS Student Council, please e-mail no.martial.law AT gmail.com, and everyone planning on attending today’s rally, please be advised of the need to remain peaceful while demonstrating.


Update @ 0040: On detentions and releases in Lahore & Karachi

The following update on those who had been detained and arrested previously and who have now been released or otherwise, comes via e-mail from a blogger on the ground (Be) in Pakistan:

Lahore:
1) 155 out of the 865 advocates arrested in Lahore on Monday have been sent for a three-day remand in the judicial lockup by the anti-terrorist court, and the may be charged under the anti-terrorist act.

2) The detained human rights activists went home today (Tuesday evening, PST) after posting bail, but Asma Jahangir STILL remains under house arrest.


Karachi:

1) Some of the Karachi lawyers were released on bail from Karachi Central Jail around 4 am today

2) Five of the activists arrested outside Karachi Press Club at the rally on Monday evening, were remanded to police custody for 15 days (Clifton police station) Farid Awan, President, Peoples Movement for Justice (PMJ); Liaqat Sahil, PMJ, Ayub Qureshi, information secretary National Party Sindh, Hasil Bizenjo, Secretary General, NPS, and Yusuf Mastikhan, Vice President, National Workers Party. The cameramen (whom police had also beaten) were released within a couple of hours.

A detention list is now available at the Pakistan 2007 Emergency wiki and is being edited with updates as they come in. Please feel free to contribute if you have any updates or details on those who have been arrested, detained or released.


Update @ 1445: Asma Jahangir e-mails her detention order

The following e-mail came in via Omer from Asma Jahangir who is the Secretary General of HRCP (Human Rights Commission Pakistan):

The situation in the country is uncertain. There is a strong crackdown on the press and lawyers. Majority of the judges of the Supreme Court and four High Courts have not taken oath. 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. The resident of the Lahore High Court Mr. Ahsan Bhoon and former bar leader Mr. Ali Ahmed Kurd have also been arrested. The police is looking or 6 other lawyers, including President of Peshawar and Karachi bar. The President of Lahore bar is also in hiding. There are other scores political leaders who have also been arrested. Yesterday I was house arrested for 90 days. I am sending my detention order (please click here):

Ironically 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. It is not time for the international community to insist on preventive measures, otherwise cleaning up the mess may take decades. There are already several hundred IDPs and the space for civil society has hopelessly shrunk.

We believe that Musharaf has to be taken out of the equation and a government of national reconciliation put in place. It must be backed by the military. Short of this there are no realistic solutions, although there are no guarantees that this may work.


Update @ 0104: Arrested university professor calls for a united protest

The following message by Osama Siddique who is a university professor at LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences) and arrested earlier alongside members of HRCP, was sent to us via the blackberry service within our comments section on a previous blog posting:

Dear all,

As I write to you many members of society are actively protesting against the travesty that has plunged us once again into the dark ages. The HRCP (Human Rights Commission Pakistan) building has been surrounded by police and peaceful protesters including some of our faculty members are about to be arrested.

In Islamabad and elsewhere the top judiciary of the country remains under house arrest and similar arrests are being made. The press has been completely muffled. This is the time to peacefully but unequivocally express our very strong dismay and protest against yet another martial law. However as we unite in this please ensure that nothing happens that in any way undermines our institutional norms. Please introspect and gauge whether continuing silence makes sense any more.

Please speak up, stand together and be counted. And be careful.


Update @ 2345: Details of arrests at Human Rights Commission Pakistan

The following via a blogger in Lahore who passes information on the condition of anonnymity:

Those detained were in a private meeting, inside HRCP’s offices this afternoon — not staging a protest or demonstration of any kind. Among the arrested are a motley bunch who had assembled due to a shared interest in the political situation and human rights issues: students, a professor from LUMS, a professor from Punjab U, lawyers, HRCP workers. A few have reportedly been transported elsewhere including a staff member from HRCP, although where to is not known. Some say 40-50 total people are detained from the HRCP meeting, though I couldn’t get this confirmed due to sporadic and interrupted phone communication with the detained. Right now the police are saying they may be detained from 30-90 days under either house arrest, in detention or jail. We hope this is just an intimidation tactic to scare people into silence and passivity.


Update @ 1600: Chairperson of Pak Human Rights Commission – under house arrest

A few minutes ago, Al Jazeera TV broadcasted a roundup of happenings in the blogosphere which have been picked up via Global Voices, including reactions by Pakistani bloggers while airing Dr. Awab’s warning to bloggers in Pakistan urging them to play it safe while blogging considering that martial law is in effect.

In a telephone call to ARYOne from Pakistan, the chairwoman of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission confirmed that she has been placed under house arrest while about 70 people including lawyers, journalists, media personnel, students and activists have been arrested in Lahore.

Among the many group that have gathered to plan on a course of action, via a SMS from Dr. Awab, over 50 people have turned up at a undisclosed location in Karachi to engage in a dialogue and discuss the events unfolding in the country.

The Secretary General of the South Asian Free Media, Imtiaz Alam, has been arested and the convener of India Pak Peace Forum, Dr. Mbashir Hassan has also been arrested in Lahore. Javed Hashmi, acting head of PML(N) and 10 other activists have been arrested while the Office of Human Rights Commission was sealed off by armed military personnel and the area has been cordonored off.


Update @ 0244: Geo TV’s website back online

Geo TV is now back online and have posted an announcement on their homepage stating that due to enormously heavy traffic on their website, they are presenting a light text-version with latest news updates while the full version of the website will be available in a few hours. A summary of the main points of Musharraf’s speech have been extracted and is available in English here and in Urdu as well.

The metroblogging team in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore have been doing a great job with posting updates of happenings on the ground while a little over an hour after Musharraf began delivering his address to the nation, Umar, blogs that apart from police patrolling the streets, the situation on the ground is peace and hopes it remains that way.

During her press briefing with the media, a few minutes after she landed in Karachi, Benazir Bhutto appealed that the world community should pressurize Musharraf to lift the emergency with Canada officially stepping up the pressure on Pakistan for the removal of the state of emergency (via Edmonton Sun) Meanwhile Nawaz Sharif who spoke to Al Jazeera News via phone from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia agreed with Bhutto and stressed that this was not a state of emergency but rather marital law which has destroyed the Supreme Court with Bhutto emphasizing that the “people of Pakistan, are capable of defending the country”.

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