WASHINGTON (AFP) — Some 250 US lawyers protested at the US Supreme Court Wednesday for the release of thousands rounded up during Pakistan's state of emergency, among them numerous judges and attorneys.
"We are here because we cannot forget the images of hundreds of our brave colleagues assaulted in the streets, carried off in police trucks, and fenced in by barbed wire and concrete barricades," said William Neukom, president of the American Bar Association (ABA), a national organization for attorneys in the United States.
Some 3,000 people throughout Pakistan have been detained or placed under house arrest, many of whom had taken to the streets in the protests that erupted after President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3.
"We, the lawyers of America, call on General Musharraf to restore the Constitution of Pakistan, reinstate Pakistan's Supreme Court justices, and free those lawyers and civil leaders who have been wrongly jailed," Neukom said.
According to the ABA, similar protests were planned in other large US cities Wednesday.
Musharraf cited a rise in Islamic militant violence and interference by senior judges in the workings of government in taking the emergency measures.
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