Pakistan detains lawyers, allegations of torture surface

Sanhita SinhaRoy

A new report from Human Rights Watch finds "credible evidence" that Pakistan's military is torturing many lawyers who were peacefully protesting against the country's military leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf.From Human Rights Watch:Most of those detained are being held without charge. Hundreds of lawyers are being held under terrorism charges without any factual basis. Treason charges also have been instituted against some. Almost two-thirds of Pakistan’s senior judges remain under house arrest.Is it any coincidence that the Pakistani government imposed martial law after the country’s Supreme Court heard legal challenges to Musharraf’s controversial Oct. 6 re-election?HRW's Asia Director Brad Adams says:"Musharraf has defied domestic opinion and the international community by rounding up many of Pakistan’s finest lawyers and subjecting them to solitary confinement and, very possibly, torture because they protested his ugly power grab. The past conduct of the security services leaves the world with no choice but to assume the worst about the fate of those being held incommunicado.”In recent developments, Musharraf's government ordered the detention of opposition leader (and former prime minister) Benazir Bhutto.

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Sanhita SinhaRoy, managing editor of American Libraries magazine, is a former managing editor of In These Times and a former copy editor of Playboy. (Yes, she did read it for the articles.)
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