Chief Justice of Pakistan manhandled, gag order issued by government

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was manhandled by capital police and the Federal Investigation Agency's personnel yesterday at his official residence in Islamabad, when he refused to ride in the police personnel vehicle and insisted on a civilian automobile.

The acting Chief Justice of Pakistan in an early morning statement confirming the incident said, "Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is our responsibility and the persons will be taken to task who have misbehaved with him."

The Chief Justice of Pakistan was removed from his office last Friday in an extrajudicial move by Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf for charges of alleged misconduct and corruption which have yet to be disclosed to the public and to the defendant.

The Chief Justice has taken a strict stand against the government's human rights abuses and abductions.

The Supreme Court has issued a gag order and has asked all Pakistani electronic media to show restraint and caution in airing programs. The acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Javaid Iqbal said, "the advice of the Supreme Judicial Council will be strictly enforced from today and no government official or media will be allowed to comment on it [the case]."

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