Monday, 18 February 2008

Human Rights Watch. Pakistan

Human Rights Watch has published the following

'Elections' are scheduled for 18th February

To the Government of Pakistan

Repeal all arbitrary laws and constitutional amendments in effect since November 3, 2007, and restore the Constitution in its entirety as it stood on November 3, 2007.

Release and reinstate Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and all other judges who have refused to take oath under the November 3 Provisional Constitution Order. Release all arbitrarily detained lawyers, political activists and opponents of the government. Provide prompt and appropriate redress to those arbitrarily detained. Withdraw all cases filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the sedition law or other sundry provisions of the law for acts protected under international human rights law or are otherwise not cognizable criminal offenses. Immediately lift all restrictions in violation of international law on the rights to freedom of expression, association and, assembly. End efforts to coerce or intimidate judges and lawyers from exercising their legal functions and the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

To the international community

Human Rights Watch urges the international community, particularly the United States and United Kingdom, as President Musharraf’s principal supporters, to press Musharraf to take the above actions. The US and UK should make clear that parliamentary elections Musharraf has announced cannot be free or fair unless he does so.

Human Rights Watch also calls on the United States to suspend all non-humanitarian assistance to the government of Pakistan and impose a travel ban on senior military and government officials until Pakistan returns to the constitution as it stood on November 3 2007, releases from house arrest and reinstates all dismissed judges including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, and restores full media freedoms.

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