PAKISTAN: Bring Pervez Musharraf and his henchmen before the law

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-027-2009
25 March 2009
PAKISTAN: Petition to bring Pervez Musharraf and his henchmen before the law.


ISSUES: Petition
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes this appeal to encourage you to sign this petition calling for an impartial and prompt investigation into the crimes committed by Musharraf and his administration, to ensure that the former dictator is brought before a court of law, and tried for the crimes he has committed. The AHRC also encourages you to fax your petitions or support letter to the authorities named below.

For further queries, please contact to Pakistan desk (pakistan@ahac.asia).

Detailed information:

After a coup on 12 October 1999, General Pervez Musharraf, the Chief of Army Staff, ruled Pakistan illegally for eight years and 10 months. Parliamentary democracy in the country with its congenital defects could not do anything to prevent the misuse of power by a soldier; it had allowed them unwarranted powers. Like the hallmarks of any other dictatorship, the violation of the supreme law of the country, the constitution, started from the day of the coup continued throughout the military dictatorship. Custodial torture, political killings, disappearances, illegal and arbitrary detentions and aggressive military action in Balochistan province in which the Pakistan Air Force intensively bombarded the civilian population are just a few instances to mention.

Musharraf gerrymandered the constitution to fit his military agenda fueled by his incessant desire to retain power. Corruption and nepotism was at its all time high. Those who were close to Musharraf exploited the opportunity. Hundreds of persons lost their lives and property. Innocent civilians faced the maximum brunt of this abuse. Law enforcement agencies were misused to force the population into silence. Those who tried to voice protest were muted by arbitrary use of brute force.

Musharraf, during his tenure has personally ordered that crimes against humanity be meted out against the people of Pakistan. He is also responsible for the crimes committed by those who connived with his dictatorship, and by the soldiers who acted under his command. It is a settled rule that a dictator cannot absolve himself from his command responsibility.

Impartial investigation precedes proper prosecution. The crimes against humanity committed by Musharraf and his administration must not remain a shameful blot on the history of Pakistan.

Each day that Musharraf continues in Pakistan without being forced to account for the crimes that he and his administration committed during his reign of terror, is an encouragement for similar elements in the country’s military. It is thus the responsibility of the current administration of Pakistan to ensure that it does not happen. It is equally the duty of each citizen of the country to ensure that similar dictators are not allowed to hold the entire country at ransom, thus ensuring a safer Pakistan for future generations. It is also the responsibility of the world nations to ensure that Musharraf is held accountable for the crimes that he has committed against hundreds of citizens of Pakistan, and other states in the world.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please send the following appeal to the authorities in Pakistan.

To support this petition, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear _________,

PAKISTAN: Petition to bring Pervez Musharraf and his henchmen before the law

I urge you to take actions to prosecute Pervez Musharraf, former dictator of Pakistan, and his henchmen for the crimes they have committed, on the following charges:

1 – Sedition 1: By usurping power and overthrowing a democratically elected government, on 12 October 1999, Musharraf violated Article 6 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The Parliament has a constitutional duty to ensure that a person who breaches Article 6 is tried for high treason.

2 – Custodial torture: During the dictatorship, as many as 6000 persons were arrested, tortured and disappeared; the whereabouts of many are still unknown. Torture was a commonly used tool in military and police custody, often resulting in death. This is a violation of Article 14 (2) of the Constitution, the fundamental right against torture, read with Article 4 (2) (a) and Article 9 of the Constitution that guarantees the right to life.

For further information please:
http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2006/1753/
http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2007/2151/
http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2006/2145/
http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2006/2012/.

3 – Crimes against humanity in Balochistan: During the dictatorship an estimated 3000 persons were murdered in Balochistan. 200,000 persons lost their homes, property and livelihood due to military actions in the province. Musharraf ordered and monitored the operation. Of the 3000 persons killed, most died from irresponsible bombing carried out by the Pakistan Air Force, violating all basic norms of humanity. During this period, many were randomly abducted, raped and killed.

In addition, Musharraf also authorised aggressive military operations in the northern parts of the country bordering Afghanistan. The operation was carried out under the instructions of foreign governments against the people of Pakistan, in the name of ‘war against terror’. North and South Waziristan, Bajor and the Malakand district, including the Swat valley, were heavily bombarded, displacing hundreds of thousands from their homes and communities. Hundreds of persons are suspected to have lost their life in these operations. There is no credible estimation of the actual casualties.

4 – Murder: A case of murder should be registered against Musharraf and his military officers for the murder of 80-year-old Sardar Akber Khan Bugti, nationalist leader, activist and former Chief Minister of Balochistan. Bugti was murdered by the military on 26 August 2006. Before his murder, Musharraf had personally threatened in public that Bugti would be murdered. On this count Musharraf must be charged under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.

5 – Abduction, rape and authorising sex slavery and sale of persons: Young women were abducted by the military or other law enforcement agencies and forced to be sex slaves in military torture cells. Musharraf and his subordinate officers who overlooked and executed this operation have committed crimes culpable under Sections 365, 367, 367 A, 368, 371 and 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.
For further information please see: Case of Zarina Marri, a school teacher: http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/1843/
http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/1855/

The case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: Dr. Siddiqui was arrested in March 2003 from Karachi and was kept incommunicado for almost five years along with her three children. Musharraf and his cabinet were aware about this incident, yet they denied it. Dr. Siddiqui was continuously tortured and never given a chance to stand trial. Musharraf has confessed in his autobiography that he has arrested about 600 persons and handed them over to foreign countries, thereby receiving payment from these countries for each person handed over. For further information please see:
http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2008/2947/
http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2008statements/1714/
http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2008statements/1681/ http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2008statements/1702/ http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2008/2947/

6 – Sedition II. On 3 November 2007, Musharraf imposed a state of emergency in the country for which he had no authority under any law in Pakistan. Through this act, he abrogated the constitution, suspended fundamental rights and arrested 60 judges of the higher judiciary including the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Musharraf and his cabinet members, including the then Prime Minister, Shoukat Aziz, publicly humiliated the highest judicial official of the country, the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, when he was produced before the Supreme Judicial Council. Justice Chaudhry was publicly manhandled by the police and detained for a short period.

On 12 May 2007, when Jusice Choudhry, visited Karachi on the invitation of Sindh High Court Bar Association, he was stopped at the airport and a coalition partner in Musharraf’s dictatorship, the MQM, blocked the roads to the airport by placing heavy barricades and shooting at the people. Around 50 persons were killed on that day. On the same day evening, Musharraf held a public meeting at Islamabad and praised the hooliganism and violence of MQM in Karachi.

All the above acts amount to a violation of Article 6 of the constitution. Musharraf and his henchmen must be charged for violating the constitution on this count read with Sections 141, 144, 146, 148, 153, 153 A, 506 read with Sections 107 and 117 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.

7 – Wilful negligence and the disproportionate use of force, leading to death: In July 2007 Musharraf and his cabinet authorised an armed attack on a place of worship, the Lal Masjid, in Islamabad, in which more than 100 persons were killed. Musharraf had at his disposal several ways by which he could have handled the situation in Lal Masjid, but he chose to deploy brute force, as prompted by his domestic and foreign supporters, disregarding the long-term impact the incident would have in the country, by causing division within the society. On this count Musharraf is to be prosecuted under Sections 295, 295 A and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.

8 – Violating the right to free expression and media freedom. Journalists widely condemned Musharraf and his coalition party members for orchestrating attacks on the media houses like Geo, ARY, Aaj and FM103. Around 20 journalists were killed during his tenure, and many others were harassed into self-censorship. Musharraf has thus violated Article 19 of the Constitution for which he must be punished.

9 – Institutionalised torture. Recent reports from victims have spoken of at least 52 illegal torture cells run by the military in different parts of the country; those inside were kept incommunicado, and tortured for several months. Musharraf has reportedly visited these centres and engaged in dialogues with the prisoners. Musharraf and his associates have contravened Article 14 and Article 14 (2) of the constitution of Pakistan.

10- Court-martial.

In addition to the charges and offenses suggested above Musharraf was the Chief Of Army Staff in Pakistan during the period he committed the crimes cited above. This is a violation of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, the Pakistan Air Force Act, 1953, and the Pakistan Navy Ordinance, 1961, for which Musharraf must face a full court-martial.

I request that you therefore investigate the incidents cited above, and register cases against Musharraf and his henchmen for violating the Constitution of the country and for crimes punishable under the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.

For the above reasons, I request you to take immediate actions to bring Musharraf, his cabinet ministers and the prime ministers who served under him during the dictatorship before the law. No longer should usurpers engage in mass murder, illegal abductions and the dissolution of the rule of law in the country. No longer should those in power expect absolute impunity. The accused should be placed on ‘exit control’, which forbids them to leave the country until they are tried.
—-
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
President
President’s Secretariat, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 922 1422, 4768/ 920 1893 or 1835
E-mail: (please see and post your appeal in the website – http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk/WTPresidentMessage.aspx)

2. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani
Prime minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9221596
E-mail: webmaster@infopak.gov.pk or makhdoomyrgillani@hotmail.com

3. Ms. Fehmida Mirza
Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9221106.
E-mail: speaker@na.gov.pk

4. Dr. Faqir Hussain
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9213452
E-mail: registrar@supremecourt.gov.pk

5. Minister of Law
Justice and Human Rights
S Block, Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 920 2628
E-mail: minister@molaw.gov.pk

6. Mr. A Rehman Malik
Advisor / Minister for Interior
R Block, Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9202624
E-mail: ministry.interior@gmail.com or interior.complaintcell@gmail.com

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)
—————————–
Asian Human Rights Commission
19/F, Go-Up Commercial Building,
998 Canton Road, Kowloon, Hongkong S.A.R.
Tel: +(852) – 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) – 2698-6367
________
Baseer Naweed
Senior Researcher, South Asia Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
19/F Go-Up Commercial Building
998 Canton Rd, Mongkok
Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

baseer.naweed@ahrc.asia
Tel: (852) 2698 6339 Ext 113
Fax: (852) 2698 6367
Mob: (852)6402 5943

One thought on “PAKISTAN: Bring Pervez Musharraf and his henchmen before the law”

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