HRCP strongly condemns police violence on a peaceful demonstration of lawyers

Press Release, February 21, 2008

Karachi: In a joint statement issued to the press Mr. Iqbal Haider, Secretary General, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Ms. Zohra Yusuf, Vice Chairperson, HRCP strongly condemned the police violence on a peaceful demonstration of lawyers gathered outside the city court, Karachi, demanding the restoration of disposed judges, independence of the judiciary and rule of law.

The excessive use of force by the police and others in plain clothes including firing, tear gassing and baton charging on a  peaceful gathering of the lawyers of Karachi is a shameful attempt to not only suppress the lawyers’ movement but also to sabotage the democratic process arising from the elections of February 18.  It is obvious that the collaborators of the autocratic rule of President Pervez Musharraf are attempting to destroy peace and harmony in the country to create serious problems for the newly elected government, the statement said.

Such acts are in violation of the constitution, human rights and civilized norms.

HRCP strongly demanded that:

  • All the lawyers arrested today must be released forthwith as well as the judges and lawyers including Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, Tariq Mehmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd
  • All the deposed judges must be restored immediately
  • Action must be taken against all those police officers and government officials involved in firing, tear gassing, arrest and violence against the lawyers

HRCP commends and supports the admirable and consistent struggle of the lawyers for independence of the judiciary, rule of law and freedom of expression.

Iqbal Haider
Secretary General

Zohra Yusuf
Vice Chairperson, Sindh