The brave lawyers of Pakistan–Part 1

Posted on November 5, 2007

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Fighting for democracy

Source: New York Times

General Musharraf, in a televised address on Saturday night, citied the danger to the country posed by extremists and said only emergency rule could solve it. He suspended the Constitution, fired the judges of the Supreme Court, closed the transmission of privately owned television news channels and curbed the broadcasts of international broadcasters.

Parliamentary elections scheduled for next January were delayed for up to a year, officials said, before reversing and saying today that they would be held by Jan. 15.

Today, the Musharraf government deployed police forces and threatened political opponents with more arrests.

Fighting for democracy

An estimated 150 lawyers were arrested in Lahore after a pitched battle between police and lawyers who stood on the roof of the High Court throwing stones at the police below. Some of the lawyers had bleeding heads as they were shoved into police vans, and some fainted in the clouds of tear gas. In Multan, another city in the province of Punjab, two new judges who had taken the oath of office under emergency rule Sunday were forced to leave the courtroom by hundreds of angry lawyers. [...]

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was dismissed earlier this year and then re-instated, was again dismissed by General Musharraf on Saturday.
Mr. Chaudhry said in an interview in a newspaper, The News, this morning that “everything that is happening today is illegal, unconstitutional and against the orders of the Supreme Court.” [more]

Please click here to read the whole article.

Please click here to see a video of the police beating up on and arresting a crowd of 2000 lawyers protesting in Lahore against Parvez Musharraf’s imposition of martial law on Pakistan.

Please click here to see another video of the police beating up and arresting lawyers in Lahore.

Resources that are bypassing Musharraf’s news blackout in Pakistan:
1. Although blackout on all News Channels is still going on in Pakistan – Geo TV has introduced a Live Audio Stream (8kbps) which can also be heard on a good dialup or dsl connection. Please click here to go to the GEO TV audio link.

2. Teeth Maestro blog. He has also has updates on the resistance against martial law here.

3. Society against Internet Censorship in Pakistan.

4. The Guardian Newspaper (UK) running blog on emergency rule in Pakistan.

5. Global Voices.

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