HRW seeks release of judges, lawyers
NEW YORK, Feb 22: The Human Rights Watch on Friday called on the leaders of Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N to make commitment that the government they will form immediately release all lawyers and judges arrested or detained for peaceful political protests or opposition to the previous government.
The New York-based rights watchdog said that the February 18 election provided a historic opportunity to start a transition towards a rights-respecting government abiding by the rule of law.
That includes restoring to office Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and all judges deposed on November 3, 2007, withdrawing all curbs on the electronic and print media imposed through presidential decrees on November 3, 2007, and rescinding all illegal and constitutional measures put in place during President Pervez Musharraf’s state of emergency.
The HRW also called upon the United States and the United Kingdom to support these measures.
“The refusal of the United States and the United Kingdom to press Musharraf to restore the judiciary is shameful,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of the group.
“Now is the test: will they continue to support Musharraf at all costs, or will they support the rule of law?”