MADRE Articles

Rule of Law, Not Martial Law: MADRE Urges Defense of Civil Society in Pakistan

Posted on: Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Keywords: Women's Health, Combating Violence Against Women, Peace Building, Pakistan

MADRE, an international women's human rights organization, is deeply concerned about the safety and freedom of those in Pakistan who are defending human rights and the independence of the judiciary. Since November 3, more than 1,500 members of Pakistan's human rights movement, media, political opposition, and judiciary have been targetted for arrest by General Musharaf.

The imposition of martial law came just as Pakistan's Supreme Court was to rule on the legality of President Musharaf's recent re-election. It was widely expected that the Court would rule against Musharaf. The President's response was to declare martial law. Indeed, under the guise of the "war on terror," General Musharaf has unleashed an attack on Pakistan's most democratic-minded citizens, including human rights activists and advocates of the rule of law.

MADRE calls on President Musharaf to end the state of emergency imposed on November 3 and urges President Bush and Secretary Rice to publicly press General Musharaf to honor the rights enshrined in Pakistan's Constitution, reinstate the Supreme Court, end the detention and house of arrest of those targetted during the state of emergency, and uphold his international obligations to human rights standards and the rule of law.

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