Night vigil & human shield to prevent forcible eviction of Justice Shahid Siddiqui

LAHORE: Several lawyers and human rights activists gathered outside the official residence of deposed judge Justice MA Shahid Siddiqui on Monday night after reports that the government was going to forcibly have the residence vacated. The deposed judge said the government had not given him a timeframe to vacate the house, but action could be taken against him by Tuesday morning.

The protestors outside the residence included Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) chairperson Asma Jehangir, Hina Jillani, Bushra Aitzaz, Rabbiya Bajwa, SCBA media adviser Muhammad Azhar Siddiqui, American human rights activists Tighe Barry and Maede Banjaman and dozens more.

night vigilThey had put up lit candles along the road in front of the house and shouted slogans against the LHC chief justice. Asma had made arrangements to stay outside the deposed judge’s residence overnight and to resist any attempt to have his residence vacated.

The deposed judge told reporters at his residence in GOR-I (14-Tollinton Road) that the Lahore High Court administration had threatened to throw him out of his official residence if he did not vacate it soon. He said, “I asked the caretaker chief minister to intervene, but he turned around and told me that the issue was between me and the LHC chief justice and that he was here only to conduct an election and return home.” The deposed judge’s family was seen going from room to room packing their belongings.

He said one of the three LHC additional registrars, who had been tasked to get the house vacated, had told him that he and his family could be forced out if they did not vacate it. He said the registrars had been ordered to ask a senior bureaucrat’s assistance in this regard. He said his landline telephone had been disconnected on Monday, while his official driver had been taken back.

He said he would not join the lawyers’ movement, as he was a sitting judge and could not take part in such activity. However, he praised the lawyers for taking steps to uphold the rule of law and protect the judiciary. He said the people had started a movement against government highhandedness and that all judges who opted not to take oath under the PCO supported them

Daily times times article – Night vigil against forced eviction of judge from GOR-I

UPDATE – excerpt from Emergency Times

Human Shield Prevents Forcible eviction of Justice Shahid Siddiqui

Attempts to forcibly evict Justice Shahid Siddiqui from his official residence: Civil society activists, lawyers and retired judges – including Asma Jahangir, Hina Jilani, Asad Jamal and many others stayed outside his house all night (in the bitter Lahore cold).

They are rotating some 40-50 protesters outside the house at any given time forming a human shield to prevent the Punjab government from forcibly evicting him, said Hamid Khan (former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association). He said that there are only two non-PCO judges living in government housing in Lahore’s GOR, Justice Shahid Siddiqui and Justice Ijaz Ahmed Choudhry – the others live in their own residences.

Several student protesters from the lahore press club protest later joined the vigil outside Justice Siddiqui’s house. By4.30 pm, scores of student activists had gathered there. “The Justice also came out to speak to the protesters and lauded the efforts of the lawyers, students, media and activists. The protest went ahead despite threats from the police to arrest students from the universities involved.”

When the current ‘CJ’ sent eviction orders to them (in violation of their own rules, which state that even on forced retirement an employee is given six months notice to find alternate accommodation), Shahid Siddiqui responded by challenging his authority and serving a contempt of court notice on him.

Anyone in the area – please go & support the cause – 14 Tollington road, GOR I, Lahore.


8 thoughts on “Night vigil & human shield to prevent forcible eviction of Justice Shahid Siddiqui

  1. Deposed judge wants to join lawyers’ movement – DAWN, Dec 5, 2007
    By Syed Faisal Shakeel

    LAHORE, Dec 4: Lahore High Court Judge Justice MA Shahid Siddiqui has announced joining the movement for the rule of law and independence of judiciary.

    He announced this while addressing a group of students from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), lawyers and members of civil society who gathered outside his official residence in GOR. They had come to the judge’s residence after the news broke out that the government intended to evict him from there.

    “I know I am a judge but the events of today (Tuesday) and yesterday (Monday) have assured me that those days are gone. From now on I am going to participate in the movement as a worker,” the judge announced to a boisterous crowd. “In case of restoration of judiciary, I would prefer to remain a part of you,” he said. The lawyers, intellectuals and students played a pivotal role in advancing the cause of an independent judiciary and their efforts would not go waste, he added.

    He said the government had issued a notification, removing judges who did not take oath under the PCO which also stated the judges would also be deprived of all benefits. “In this critical time, indeed I do not wish to go for any benefits. But I wish people are not deprived of an independent judiciary,” he said.

    In a society where an independent judiciary did not exist, lawlessness reigned supreme, he added. “Today, the educated class and intelligentsia are aware (of the situation) and have risen for the protection of the institution of this country,” he said.

    The crowd outside his residence hailed the judge and chanted slogans against Gen Musharraf (retired).

    Justice Siddiqui had refused the demand of the Lahore High Court to vacate his residence a few days ago and had issued the registrar with a contempt notice for making such a demand as a sitting judge.
    On Monday, the judge said he received a call from one of the additional registrars, without giving his name, who told him that the high court officials had been talking to the administration to vacate the house by use of force.

    On Monday night, lawyers, members of civil society and journalists started gathering in front of the judge’s house as soon as the news regarding the use of force spread. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairperson Asma Jehangir, Hina Jillani and Justice Nasira Iqbal (retired) also came rushing to Justice Siddiqui’s residence. Some lawyers, rights activists and citizens also held a candlelit vigil there. Two American rights activists — Tigh Barry and Medea Benjamin — also came to the spot to show solidarity with the judge. They spent the night there and chanted slogans against Gen Musharraf (retired) and LHC Chief Justice Iftikhar Husain Chaudhry.

    Later, in the morning Justice Jawad S Khwaja, Justice Mian Allah Nawaz and members of bar associations came to the residence of the judge and expressed solidarity with him. Lahore Bar Association President Syed Muhammad Shah, along with a large number of lawyers, also visited the judge.

    Lawyers, students and civil society activists were staging a sit-in in front of Justice Siddiqui’s residence till the filing of the report.

  2. From Concerned Citizens of Pakistan. Received from the Emergency mailing list

    Dear all,

    Late last night/early this morning, the police did, in fact come to Justice Siddiqui’s house in Lahore and removed the barricades ( i.e. chairs, bedding etc. placed by the protesters) in preparation of the eviction. Justice Siddiqui suffered an angina episode and was admitted at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Please send notes, flowers to show your continued support for him in this ordeal. For those outside the city or country, you can e-mail your letter of support to – we will make sure the letter reaches him.

    Thanks & God bless you all

    In Complete Solidarity

    CCP Team

  3. Can you please clarify if Justice Sahab suffered an angina? It was later reported that he did not have an angina but he was exhausted and since he has been a heart patient since long he was taken to the hospital. Also that his family is being asked to vacate the official residence.

  4. Newspapers are reporting that it might not have been a heart attack and just heart pains, but it has widely been confirmed that he was taken to the hospital. it is also reported today in an emeregency mail-alert that psuedo CJ Doggar has taken suo motto action against the IG Punjab Police and the Governor for not taking Justice Siddiqui out of his residence!

  5. Daily Times – Dec 7, 2007

    Police arrest 10 LUMS students

    LAHORE: The Race Course police arrested 10 students of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) from outside the house of Justice (r) Shahid Siddiqui in GOR-I Thursday midnight. Police detained the students in the Race Course Police Station after lodging a case against them under Section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order. The arrested students include two females and 8 males. Dozens of LUMS students later gathered around the police station and lodged a protest against the police by lighting candles. The police officials blocked the approaching road of the police station by installing barricades there and also closed the main gate of the police station to stop students from entering. Students, however, also blocked adjacent roads. Sources said the students cordoned the police station and were still there when this report was made at 1.30 am. Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal also accompanied the protesting students. staff report

  6. Received from the Emergency Mailing list

    Dear All,

    In the past hour, over a hundred students, lawyers and members of civil society have joined outside the Racecourse jail to express solidarity and demand the release of the innocent people who were arrested today.

    -If you are in Lahore or know people in Lahore: please go to the Racecourse Thana/jail to express solidarity.

    -If you know people in the government, political parties or other important actors: please wake them up and demand for the release of these innocent protesters.

    -If you know any media personnel especially foreign media: please let them know ASAP so they can get this in the eyes of the world!

    Will keep the updates running.

    In complete solidarity
    EM Team

  7. Dear All,

    Regretfully the CCP meet at Racecourse Park scheduled for 3 pm today has had to be cancelled owing to an excessive police deployment at the venue (obviousely word got out). The citizens arrested trying to prevent the eviction of Justic Shahid Siddiqui have been shifted to Cantt Station Ferozepur Road, where there is a big protest taking place right now. Members are requested to join in at this venue at 2.30 – we regret the last minute change.

    In Complete Solidarity

    CCP Team

  8. GOR detainees charged under Anti terrorism Laws!

    In a new and unprecedented move of threat and oppression, the peaceful vigil holders arrested from Justice Siddiqui’s house have been charged under the Anti terrorism act (section 7). A large number of SAC students accompanied a lawyer for posting of bail at the cantt kacherry court early on the morning of the 10th. The magistrate dismissed the petition for bail explaining that the detainees had been charged under the anti terrorism act. Until the filing of this report the mass of SAC students with the lawyer were enroute to the anti terrorism court. Prayers and support is needed. There is a protest arranged by the HRCP at 11am onward at the High court to mark the Human rights day. We urge all of you to come in display of solidarity with the innocents who have sacrificed much and put themselves in immense danger for our collective cause.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s