By now I’m sure everyone’s heard about the lawyers in Pakistan who first demonstrated peacefully and now are defending themselves from attacks. [If you want a good background of the events to date, read this Economist.com article: “Lawyers against the general.”] The photographs I have seen in the past few days show many lawyers and political and human rights activists protesting against General Musharraf. Many of whom, on any other day, would be arguing with each other over the usual legal and political mumblejumble, but on this issue, they have found a common cause.
Judges and lawyers have been placed under house arrest and the courts are closed. Asma Jahangir is among those under house arrest. She earned her law degree in 1978 and was featured as an Asian Hero by Time Magazine in 2003. She is currently the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
Imagine that, putting a world famous human rights lawyer under house arrest?!? What is it that the General doesn’t want her to see or say? The more this dictator tries to suppress the protesters’ message, the more important it becomes for Pakistan and the rest of the world to voice the suppressed words of the arrested protesters.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all the judges, lawyers and activists. We all pray for their safety and freedom.