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Bar Association condemns Pakistani regime

19 November 2007

From the President of the New Zealand Bar Association, Dr James Farmer QC

New Zealand Bar Association condemns actions of Pakistani regime

The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association, the New Zealand Law Society and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide in condemning the apparent collapse of the rule of law in Pakistan.

The Association's President, Mr Jim Farmer QC, today said that steps taken by Pakistan's President, Mr Musharraf, involving the suspension of the country's Constitution, and the imposition of emergency rule, amounted to a direct attack on the fundamental human rights guaranteed by the rule of law in democratic societies.

"The New Zealand Bar Association is gravely concerned by reports that legitimate protest action, including such action by Pakistan's Judges and Lawyers, has been met with the use of violence by Pakistani authorities involving the use of tear gas and batons" Mr Farmer said. "An independent judiciary and legal profession is fundamental to the maintenance of democracy, and mere political expediency can never justify the actions of the Pakistani regime as reported in the International media."

Like the International Bar Association, the New Zealand Bar Association is concerned that unless Pakistan's Constitution is restored, there will be further deterioration of the situation leading to a more entrenched abrogation of democratic principles and abuses of human rights.

ENDS

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