London Demo Slams Musharraf’s Rights Abuses

Rights activists have staged demonstrations in London to denounce Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s ‘human rights abuses’.

The demonstration, organized by human rights group Amnesty International, came on Saturday at Downing Street, prior to a meeting between Musharraf and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday.

“British Prime Minister Gordon Brown should tell visiting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that free and fair elections will be impossible without the full restoration of Pakistan’s judiciary,” said Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch.

On November 3, 2007 Musharraf suspended Pakistan’s Constitution, fired much of the country’s senior judges and arrested thousands of opponents, most of whom were eventually released because of international pressure.

“An independent judiciary is vital for people to have an avenue to contest the results of this election conducted in an environment of bias and intimidation,” said Adams.

He urged Brown to press Musharraf to rescind these measures, set up an independent election commission and a neutral caretaker government to oversee elections.