Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Amnesty International urges Europe to resist Musharraf

Government and Business Leaders Meeting Outlaw Dictator PervezMusharraf Must Address the Human Rights Crisis in Pakistan.

HRF: http://www.JusticeForum.info

(InformPress.com) - Amnesty International urges all governments andbusiness leaders meeting Pakistani Tyrant Pervez Musharraf in Europe this week to call for an end to the human rights violations which have continued despite the lifting of the illegal State of Emergency last month.

"Arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, and torture and ill-treatment -- coupled with pervasive political violence undermine the prospect of free and fair elections planned in February[2008]," said Amnesty International's Secretary General, Irene Khan.
An Amnesty International delegation which spent the last month in thec ountry documented a worsening human rights crisis.

"Amnesty International has collected a wealth of evidence on human rights violations and the breakdown of rule of law, which are sowing the seeds of a political catastrophe, with devastating consequences for ordinary people," continued Ms. Khan.

Pakistani Dictator, Pervez Musharraf, begins his week-long visit to Europe on Monday where he will meet, among others - the European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy - as well as attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"As Musharraf embarks on a tour of Europe to garner political and economic support, those who meet him have both the responsibility and opportunity to demand that his government bring to an end the human rights violations that have characterized the recent period of Pakistan's history, including by immediately restoring the independence of the judiciary," said Ms. Khan.
Amnesty International is urging the Government of Pakistan to:

- End arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment, politically-motivated criminal prosecutions, civil proceedings against or harassment of politicians, human rights defenders, journalists, media workers and other members of civil society.

- Stop the use of "blind First Information Reports" - police complaints in which the suspect is unidentified - a practice whichallows the government to harass and detain political opponents.

- Restore the independence of the judiciary by returning to serviceall judges removed during emergency rule.

- Respect the right to freedom of expression and information, and theright to peaceful assembly. At rallies or other mass gatherings, law enforcement officials must comply with international standards, and in particular should not use force unless strictly necessary and only to the minimum extent required.

- Conduct full and independent investigations into political assassinations, including that of Benazir Bhutto, and other unlawful killings and suicide attacks, and make public the findings.

"The international community must give a clear and unequivocal message to Musharraf that restoring respect for human rights and the rule of law is key to establishing confidence in the forthcoming elections and arresting the spate of political violence in Pakistan," said Ms. Khan.

[Amnesty International works daily to protect human rights worldwide. Sunday, 20 January 2008 - London, UK.]

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