Human Rights Watch says, new Pak government must free judges

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Islamabad, Feb 22 : Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that the new government in Pakistan must swiftly release all the top judges detained by President Pervez Musharraf last year.

The New York-based watchdog wrote a letter to Pakistan People's Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif, urging them to restore an independent judiciary.

"Your parties have provided an important opportunity to start a transition towards a rights-respecting government that abides by the rule of law," HRW Asia director Brad Adams wrote in the letter to Zardari and Sharif

Adams accused Britain and the US of refusing to speak out against Musharraf.

"The refusal of the United States and the United Kingdom to press Musharraf to restore the judiciary is shameful," the Dawn quoted Adams, as saying.

"Now is the test: will they continue to support Musharraf at all costs, or will they support the rule of law?" Adams questioned.

The watchdog also called on the new administration to withdraw curbs on the media and all other legal measures put in place under the powers of emergency rule that was proclaimed last year.

ANI

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