More Pakistan lawyers ordered released from jail

[JURIST] Pakistani authorities in Lahore and Balochistan Monday ordered the release of a number of lawyers arrested earlier this month for protesting [JURIST report] President Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule. In Lahore, an anti-terrorism court judge granted bail to 42 lawyers held in various jails, according to a report by the Associated Press of Pakistan. A legal source in Lahore told JURIST, however, that those lawyers had not actually been released [JURIST comment] because the bail orders had "not yet reached destinations." One of the lawyers granted bail Monday was the general secretary of the Lahore High Court Bar Association. The latest bail grants follow the bail of some 350 other Lahore lawyers [News report] on November 10. In Balochistan, meanwhile, the head of the new caretaker regional government announced that all lawyers, politicians and workers who had been arrested in the city of Quetta and elsewhere in that province would be released as a sign of goodwill. Dawn has more.

On Friday, UN officials reported that chairwoman of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Asma Jahangir had been released from her two-week house arrest [JURIST report]. Human rights groups still claim that there are over 3000 lawyers being held [AHRC press release] in the country in the aftermath of the emergency declaration and that "many of the best known" Pakistani lawyers are in hiding.

 

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