Pakistan: UN Not Pleased
The UN Secretary-General has called on Musharraf to recall his emergency rule and release detainees, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, currently under house arrest.
Below is an article published by UN News Centre:
Reacting to the imposition of a state of emergency in
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General expressed his “strong dismay at the detention of hundreds of human rights and opposition activists, including the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief,” Asma Jahangir.
He urged the authorities to immediately release those detained, to lift restrictions on the media and to take early steps for a return to democratic rule, and appealed to the Government of Pakistan to hold the Parliamentary elections as scheduled.
In a statement, Ms. Arbour expressed concern about reports that leading judges, lawyers and political and human rights activists have been detained or placed under house arrest, including Ms. Jahangir.
“A state of emergency should only be used to deal with a dire security threat to the nation, not to undermine the integrity and independence of the judiciary,” the High Commissioner said.
The prohibition on arbitrary detention, torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, cannot be suspended even in times of emergency, she said. Such far-reaching restrictions of rights must be proportional and may only be applied to the extent and for the time strictly required by the situation, she noted.