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Posts tagged with: Lahore

Update @ 0335: Police Reinforcements surround Citizens

Posted on the Emergency Times network by the Caped Avenger

Over 100 people have been protesting the arrest of students, lawyers and members of civil society for the past few hours. At the time of writing of this report they have been completely outnumbered and surrounded by a police force armed with batons and shields. Owing to the arrival of night and the absence of any media there has been a joint consensus to come again at 8 AM in the morning with more people.

According to Police the Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Doggar took a Suo Moto notice against the IG Punjab Police, Governor Punjab and a few other high officials for not being able to remove Justice MA Shahid Siddiqi from his house. Those arrested will be taken to the Kangaroo Lahore High Court at 11 am.

We strongly urge every student, lawyer, activist, member of civil society and any other sympathizer to come to the Racecourse Thana at 8 am. (It is also known as the Lawrence Road Thana). We need to make sure that these heroes of Pakistan do not ‘disappear’ from the radar.

Please also inform every media person you know. We need to make sure that these protesters can face a fair trial and are not held at a secret torture center without any access to legal counsel or support.


Update @ 0130: from Race Course Jail Lahore

Update appearing on the Emergency Times Mailing List posted by the Emergency Moderator

In the past hour, over a hundred students, lawyers and members of civil society have joined outside the Racecourse jail to express solidarity and demand the release of the innocent people who were arrested today outside of Justice Shahid Siddiqui’s house.

  • If you are in Lahore or know people in Lahore: please go to the Racecourse Thana/jail to express solidarity.
  • If you know people in the government, political parties or other important actors: please wake them up and demand for the release of these innocent protesters.
  • If you know any media personnel especially foreign media: please let them know ASAP so they can get this in the eyes of the world!

SMS Update @ 0024: Citizens arrested in Lahore from outside J Shahid’s House

Citizens outside Justice Siddiqui’s house have been arrested and taken to Racecourse Jail in Lahore


Aitzaz Ahsan Addresses the Legal Fraternity While Under House Arrest

Letter written by Aitzaz Ahsan from his sub-jail in Lahore to the legal fraternity while under house arrest

My dear colleagues,
Asalam o alaikum.

As I write this from a sub-Jail, let me tell you how proud I am of each one of you and of myself to be part of the community that is writing the present chapter in the history of our unfortunate country. As you are all aware we the lawyers are the vanguard in this long over due mammoth battle for civil rights and democracy in our country.

As for myself, jail is not new to me. I was first arrested as a one-year old in the arms of my mother when she courted arrest in 1946 after my father and grandfather had already done so in the Pakistan movement. During the Martial Law imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq I was arrested and detained without trial several times for long terms only because I pursued, even then, the ideals of democracy and an independent judiciary.

Let me assure you that the sacrifices that you have given and the selfless courage that you have shown for a completely selfless cause of an independent judiciary and civilian rule have no parallel anywhere in the world, even in countries from which we have borrowed the concepts of the rule of law and judicial independence. By seeking the restoration of the Chief Justices and Judges of all provinces we are in fact seeking to the save and strengthen the Federation. Ours is a noble cause.
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Update @ 1511: Justice Siddiqui suffers an episode of Angina & has been hospitalized

Update from the Emergency Times network

Late last night/early this morning, the police did, in fact come to Justice Siddiqui’s house in Lahore and removed the barricades (i.e. chairs, bedding etc. placed by the protesters) in preparation of the eviction. Justice Siddiqui suffered an angina episode and was admitted at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology.

Please send notes, flowers to show your continued support for him in this ordeal. For those outside the city or country, you can e-mail your letter of support to concernedpakistan@gmail.com – we will make sure the letter reaches him.


SMS Update @ 1406: Urgent from Lahore, state trying to evict Justice Shahid

I just got this update from a CMKP comrade in Lahore: “We are at the house of Justice Shahid Siddique. The State is trying to evict him by force.”

SMS Blogger


Musharraf’s Economic Deception – Part 1

Guest Post by Dr. Tariq Naeem

General Musharraf took over the reigns of power in 1999 from Nawaz Sharif with the Pakistan economy on the verge of bankruptcy. So desperate was the situation Nawaz Sharif toured the world visiting Pakistanis with a begging bowl requesting them to invest in Pakistan due to the sanctions imposed on Pakistan for carrying out nuclear tests. Incoherent, short-term policies had resulted in a minority of people benefiting immensely, who incidentally were directly linked to the Sharif family.

Both the IMF and the World Bank have consistently praised the Musharraf government for solid macroeconomic recovery and saving the Pakistan economy from the brink of economic collapse. They cite the $128bn generated under his tenure. Many commentators are eager to explain that the Musharraf government has made substantial macroeconomic reforms since taking over the economy in 1999. The argument of the few Musharraf loyalists being that he has brought a degree of stability to Pakistan that the country never knew under civilian rule.

Part 1 of this two part series will assess this claim and analyse the current state of Pakistan’s economy which shows it is in a far more precarious position:
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US Activists Arrested at Gunpoint, Forced to Leave the Country

U.S. human rights activists Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry were arrested in Lahore, Pakistan at 8:30pm on Wednesday, December 4 after attending a student rally at the Lahore Press Club. Upon leaving the Club in the company of several journalists, the car they were driving in was pulled off the road. Armed policemen jumped out of cars and motorcycles and surrounded their car, guns drawn. They forced the driver and journalists out, beat passers-by who were looking at the scene, and hijacked the car with Benjamin and Barry inside. They raced recklessly through the crowded streets of Lahore, endangering the lives of those in the car and outside. They took the two activists to the Race Course Police Station. Benjamin was roughed up by a woman police officer who was given orders to take away their cell phone.

Benjamin and Barry were never charged with anything and no reason was given for their brutal arrest. After four hours, a representative of the US Embassy appeared. The activists were allowed to leave in his custody, but are being forced to leave the country on Wednesday.

“It was a terrifying experience,” says Benjamin. “I had no idea if we would get out of it dead or alive. If they do this to us, who have the protection of being US citizens, imagine what they do to their own citizens.”
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Update @ 0209: US Activists released on condition they leave Pakistan immediately

UPDATE from CODEPINK website: Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry, US Human Rights activists have been released from ISI (Pakistani intelligence agencies) custody, they are safe though quite shaken up. The two have had their visas revoked and are being forcibly removed from the country on an early morning flight (in just a few hours Lahore time). They are available for comment/interview at 011 92 308 204 2346 for the next few hours. The reason for their forcible deportation is that under emergency rule, protests are illegal, therefore Benjamin and Barry have been participating in illegal acts punishable by deportation.I have been trying to contact them but I have not been able to get through, will update the blog as soon as I hear confirmations

The Press Release that was issued a few hours before by the CodePink Organization
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Update @ 0045: Suspected Brute Force Eviction of Justice Shahid at 2am

At around midnight the activists around the country went abuzz with a report that the authorities were planning to forcibly evict Justice Shahid Siddiqi from his house at 2am in the morning. Instantly the Lahore activist went into motion are suspected to hold a vigil throughout the night in hope of forming a human barrier when the cavalry does arrive. Asma Jehangir and other human rights activists are expected to arrive there soon. It must also be noted that for the past two days 24 hour vigil is under way trying to prevent such an action. Updates to follow as soon as we get more news


Update @ 2149: CodePink Activists arrested in Lahore

It is just being reported that Medea and Tighe, two US Human Rights activists who had come to Pakistan to stand up against these blatant human rights violation in Pakistan under the Martial Law have been arrested by the Punjab Police and are reportedly being held at Civil Lines. They’ve apparently also confiscated Khurram Khosa’s car, in which they were traveling.

They have at the moment many people working in their support from Lahore, as they made many friends during their brief stay there. We are also being told that the American Embassy is also assisting to orchestrate their release from captivity


US Human Rights Activists Harassed by Pakistani Government

U.S. human rights activists Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry were on their way to a student rally at the Lahore Press Club at 3pm on Tuesday, December 4, when they were stopped outside the Club gates by six plainclothes government agents. They were told they had to leave the country because their visas had expired. Both, however, have valid
visas.

The government agents grabbed Barry by the arm and tried to hold him. Benjamin got help from some journalists, who managed to escort the two activists inside the Club. At 5pm, prominent lawyer Khummeram Khosa drove his car into the Press Club premises to escort the activists out of the Club. The government agents, on three motorcycles, followed their car through the city streets. When the activists tried to call the media, they discovered that their phone was being jammed. The activists returned to the Press Club to alert the media about this harassment.
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Notification issued for Retirement of 24 Judges

HRCP has informed us via email that

The Federal ministry of Law has issued the notification for the retirement 24 High Court judges who did not take oath under the PCO. Those judges who stand retired as per the notification included 12 judges of Sindh High Court (SHC), 10 judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) and two judges of Peshawar High Court (PHC).


Update @ 1715: Shahbaz Sharif faces arrest

Dawn reports that Shahbaz Sharif faces a possible arrest over murder charges dating back to 1998. An anti-terrorism court in Lahore issued contempt notices to two police officers for not arresting Shahbaz Sharif for having allegedly ordered security forces to kill suspected criminals in a shootout eight years ago, when he was chief minister of Punjab province according to APP

I believe these are just pressure tactics being employed by General Pervaiz Musharraf to push the Sharif brothers into contesting the elections, lets see how long the Ganjas can withstand the storm


Update @ 1343: LUMS Besieged, Important information for Islamabad

The Emergency Moderator mailing list has yet another update

Lahore:

LUMS student representatives communicated with a senior police official who informed them that any student who has been active in protests lately will be arrested. The student, whose identity can not be revealed for safety reasons, was shown pictures of students the police will arrest if they try to leave the campus.

There is report of 4 arrest warrants. However the police have threatened to arrest anyone who’s picture they have on their list. There seem to be 3 police vans with about 80 policemen with sticks and batons. There probably are some plain-clothed intelligence agents as well.

We strongly urge all lawyers, students, human rights activists, political party workers and members of civil society to come to the aid of these students who have been working day and night for a brighter future for Pakistan.

For Islamabad:

Islamabad suspected ISI guyIf you are protesting in Islamabad today at 3 PM at Aabpara Chowk, please watch out for this (picture attached) guy. He is a cameraman for the intelligence agencies and pictures taken and movies made from his camera are used to intimidate and harrass innocent citizens of Pakistan.

Also watch out for the plain clothed goons. Stay safe everyone and please continue in our struggle for justice. We cannot succumb to such draconian tactics.