Message from Chairperson HRCP Asma Jahangir to all civil societies after her in-house arrest for 90 days

asma jahangir

Dear Friends,

The situation in the country is uncertain. There is a strong crackdown on the press and lawyers. Majority of the judges of the Supreme Court and four High Courts have not taken oath. The Chief Justice is under house arrest (unofficially). The President of the Supreme Court Bar (Aitzaz Ahsan) and 2 former presidents, Mr. Muneer Malik and Tariq Mahmood have been imprisoned for one month under the Preventive Detention laws. The President of the Lahore High Court Mr. Ahsan Bhoon
and former bar leader Mr. Ali Ahmed Kurd have also been arrested. The police is looking or 6 other lawyers, including President of Peshawar and Karachi bar. The President of Lahore bar is also in hiding.

There are other scores political leaders who have also been arrested.

Yesterday I was house arrested for 90 days. I am sending my detention order.

Ironically the President (who has lost his marbles) said that he had to clamp down on the press and the judiciary to curb terrorism. Those he has arrested are progressive, secular minded people while the terrorists are offered negotiations and ceasefires.

Lawyers and civil society will challenge the government and the scene is likely to get uglier. We want friends of Pakistan to urge the US administration to stop all support of the instable dictator, as his lust for power is bringing the country close to a worse form of civil
strife. It is not time for the international community to insist on preventive measures, otherwise cleaning up the mess may take decades. There are already several hundred IDPs and the space for civil society has hopelessly shrunk.

We believe that Musharaf has to be taken out of the equation and a government of national reconciliation put in place. It must be backed by the military. Short of this there are no realistic solutions, although there are no guarantees that this may work.


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Hundreds of activists arrested throughout Pakistan after Emergency declared by Gen. Musharraf

Chairperson HRCP Ms. Asma Jahangir is under house arrest for 90 days since the day Musharraf declared emergency situation in Pakistan.

Hundreds of lawyers were arrested by Police from Lahore High Court Bar room on November 5, 2007. They include a number of women. The lawyers faced the brutal force of police in both Lahore and Karachi, where hundreds of arrests were also made. Dozens of lawyers were injured as police burst into bar premises.

Many cases of violence by police have been reported at HRCP offices.

Civil Society of Pakistan in UK is protesting against the arrest of human rights activists in front of Pakistan High Commission in London today on November 5, 2007 at 2:00pm GMT . Hina Jilani, Vice-Chairperson, HRCP is leading the protest.

Arrest warrant of Ms. Hina Jilani Vice Chairperson HRCP has been issued but she is out of country.

All privately owned media channels remain blocked and a complete news blackout has persisted since the emergency.

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Police raid at HRCP head office: 55 human rights activists arrested

55 human rights activists arrested and sent to Kot Lakhpat Jail including Mr. I. A. Rehman, Director HRCP and Syed Iqbal Haider, Secretary General HRCP

  • 55 Human Rights Activists (31 male and 24 female) including Director HRCP Mr. I.A. Rehman, Secretary General Mr. Syed Iqbal Haider, Ms. Shahtaj Qazalbash, Mr. Mehboob Khan, Mr. Nadeem Anthony, Ms. Salima Hashmi, Ms. Rubina Saigol, Ms. Samina Rehman, Brig. Rao Abid Hameed, Faisal Akhtar, Waseem Majeed Malik, Irfan Barket, Dr. Naseem Ali, Dr. Khurram Iftikhar, Dr. Yousaf Yaseen, Irshad Choudhry, Imran Qureshi, Shams Mahmood, Zaffar ul Hassan, Khalid Mehmood, Bilal Hassan Minto, Muhammad Bashir, Ali Cheema, Shahid Hafeez, Syed Mozam Ali Shah, Mansoor Ali Shah, Shahzeb Masood, Javed Amin, Suleman Akram, Muhammad Bilal Sabir, Shahid Amin, Khawaja Amjad Hussain, Mahmood Ahmed, Rahim ul Haq, Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Alia Ali, Samia Ali, Azhra Irshad, Jona Anderyas, Ayra Anderyas, Zeba, Neelam Hussain, Gulnar, Sonobar, Sadaf Chughtai, Nasreen Shah, Shaista Parvaiz Malik, Iram Sharif, Amina Sharif, Tania Sabah ud Din, Tamkanat Karim, Lala Raukh, , Huma Shah, Nasreen Shah and Samia Ameen Khawaja were arrested from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan head office Lahore by a huge police contingent on Sunday November 4, 2007 and were taken to the Model Town Police Station, Lahore. An F.I.R. # 843/2007, dated 04-11-07 was lodged under sections 146/147 and 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), at Garden Town police station, Lahore.
  • All 55 human rights activists were produced before the Judicial Magistrate today on November 5, 2007 and were sent to Kot Lakhpat Jail Lahore till the next date of hearing i.e. November 06, 2007. One of the detained activists, Mr. Ashtar Ausaf Ali advocate has been sent to Hospital after a heart attack in police custody.

On November 06, 2007, a Judicial Magistrate ordered the release on bail of all those detained from the HRCP head office.

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Gen Musharraf’s second coup:Charge-sheet against judiciary; Media ‘promoting negativism’; Country’s ‘integrity at stake’; Legislatures intact

news article courtesy of DAWN newspaper – online edition

Gen Musharraf’s second coup : •Charge-sheet against judiciary •Media ‘promoting negativism’ •Country’s ‘integrity at stake’ •Legislatures intact

musharraf - dawn news

ISLAMABAD, Nov 3: In what is a virtual martial law, President Pervez Musharraf, acting as army chief, on Saturday imposed a state of emergency throughout Pakistan, suspended the Constitution and replaced superior courts in a move that could put the country’s political future into disarray.In his proclamation of emergency, the general blamed growing violence by militants and a judiciary which he said was working at “cross purposes” with his government and the legislature for his most drastic action since he seized power in an October 12, 1999 coup.A Provisional Constitutional Order was also issued, putting the Constitution in ‘abeyance’ but saying the country would be “governed, as nearly as may be, in accordance with the Constitution” although seven of its articles relating to fundamental rights would remain suspended, and empowering the president to amend the document ‘as is deemed expedient’.The move, greeted with immediate condemnation at home by opposition parties, lawyers and human rights groups and concern from “war on terror” allies like the United States and Britain, came only 12 days before the expiration of General Musharraf’s presidency and the present assemblies and while an 11-judge bench of the Supreme Court was in a weekend recess in its hearing of challenges to his election for another five-year presidential term mainly on grounds of his army office. Continue reading

Arrest of Activists at Peaceful Demonstration

Peaceful Demonstration in front of Election Commission of Pakistan building, Karachi on September 29, 2007 – the day of scrutiny of the nomination papers of General Musharraf

activists activists 2

The Council Members of HRCP from Sindh on September 22, 2007, decided to join lawyers in protest rallies to express their resentment on September 29, 2007 – the day of scrutiny of the nomination papers of General Musharraf, and also motivate members of JAC and Peoples’ Movement for Justice, to take part in the demonstration.

The members of JAC and PMJ endorsed the decision of HRCP Sindh Council of taking part in the demonstration on September 29, 2007 at 11:00 am.

On September 29, 2007, at about 11:15 am, Council Members of HRCP Mr. Asad Iqbal Butt, Ms. Uzma Noorani, Mr. Amarnath Motumal and members of HRCP, JAC and PMJ started gathering outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Karachi within the jurisdiction of the Preedy Police Station, carrying banners and placards with anti-Musharraf slogans.

Ten minutes later, the police baton charged the crowd, pushed 11 of them into police mobiles and took them to the Artillery Maidan Police Station. Those arrested included: Continue reading