=> HONG KONG (January 24 2008): Two of Pakistan’s top
HONG KONG (January 24 2008): Two of Pakistan’s top lawyers, who led protests against President Pervez Musharraf’s attempts to sack the country’s chief justice, have won an Asian human rights award, organisers said on Wednesday.
Munir Malik, former president, Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association together with his successor, Aitzaz Ahsan, have been awarded the Asian Human Rights Defender Award (HRD) by the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). The pair was instrumental in leading the vociferous protests against Musharraf’s attempt to sack chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry last March.
“The two lawyers’ leadership, courage and unswerving commitment to their profession, their integrity and their country are strongly symbolic of their cause,” the award organisers said in a statement.
“In them we acknowledge and award all of the lawyers, judges and others who have refused to bow down to the immoral pressure of military force, including all of those dismissed from their posts and kept in their houses”, said the organisers.
“They stand today as the representatives of civilised society and institutional commonsense in Pakistan, in stark contrast to the barbarism and primitive feudal order represented by Musharraf and his allies.”
Chaudhry’s sacking was thwarted after the protests, but he was later removed after refusing to retake an oath of office when Musharraf imposed emergency rule late last year. Munir Malik has been arrested and drugged, causing him to suffer renal failure, AHRC said.
Aitzaz Ahsan has been detained since the emergency rule was imposed in November. Ambassadors from several countries have been refused access to visit him. Emergency rule was lifted in December.
Source: Business Recorder