A student protest took place today in Islamabad to protest against emergency and removal of supreme court judges and for the restoration of free media. The protest was attended by about a thousand students and people from all walks of life. In spite of lifting of emergency, however, the police resorted to violent tactics to disperse the protesters, using tear gas and rubber bullets in the process. After a brief episode of violence, most of the protesters dispersed except for few who went on to reach the CJ's house. Here, about 35 students and protesters were arrested and taken to Sectt. police station. Lawyers, students, journalists and other members of the civil society! We request you to please show up at the Sectt. police station to demand the release of these arrested students. This is your chance to stand for freedom and justice.
The seven female protestors arrested have been released without charge. The 35 or so male protestors are still under arrest at the thana on constitutional avenue. According to reports, they are being charged under various offences, including 144 and 7-ATA (Anti-terrorism Act). Some students and lawyers who went to the thana to attempt to procure their release have also been arrested. On what pretext, one cannot say.
it is pertinent to note here that, although the 'emergency' is claimed to have been lifted, its draconian implications are still very much in sway. The brutal response of the police to the student rally is a clear indication of the paucity of basic rights even after the 'restoration' of our battered constitution. Let us not even talk of the continued illegal detention of several judges and senior advocates on no charges whatsoever.
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