Lahore, February 4: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) regrets that the government could not stomach its good act of restoring Aitzaz Ahsan and Tariq Mahmood to freedom for more than 24 hours. The tactic used by the government to evade its obligation to refer their cases to the Review Board reminds one of practices favoured by autocrats of the most contemptible variety. An administration that circumvents its legal and moral duties in this manner undermines the very foundations of an order based on respect for law. What makes the action against these distinguished lawyers reprehensible, from the very first day of their incarceration, is the fact that they have not been accused of any offence, and what they are supported to be prevented from doing is not a crime in any democratic dispensation. Their detention at the moment also amounts to a crude interference with the electoral process. The orders of their detention must be withdrawn forthwith.
Secretary – General