Ban Ki-Moon, UNHCR express concern over emergency in Pakistan

November 14th, 2007 - 8:32 am ICT by admin  
Moon expressed dismay over the detention of hundreds of human rights and opposition activists, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom Of Religion or Belief, Asma Jehangir.

Appealing to the Musharraf regime to hold the general elections on schedule, he urged authorities in Pakistan to immediately release those detained, to lift restrictions on the media and to take early steps for a return to democratic rule.

“Pakistan has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but the High Commissioner noted that, under accepted rules of international law, fundamental rights, such as the right to life, the prohibition on arbitrary detention, torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, cannot be suspended even in times of emergency,” Arbour said in a statement.

Arbour went on to say that an emergency should only be imposed to deal with a dire security threat to the nation, not to undermine the integrity and independence of the judiciary.

Arbour called on Islamabad to clarify the status of those detained and ensure that no one is detained for the peaceful exercise of their political beliefs. (ANI)

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