US Lawyers march in support of their Pakistani counterparts

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Washington, Nov 15 (UNI) The American Bar Association (ABA) organised a 'lawyers' march here to support the rule of law and lawyers in Pakistan who had been arrested while protesting against the emergency rule imposed by President Pervez Musharraf on November 3.

The lawyers dressed in dark suits, like their counterparts in Pakistan, gathered here yesterday at the plaza in front of the Library of Congress before walking around the Supreme Court.

Lawyers across the country are participating in similar marches in their communities, and the ABA is encouraging and supporting these local efforts.

Jeff Golden, who chairs the international law section of the American Bar Association, travelled from London to participate in the protest march.

He said, ''The pictures that are coming out of Pakistan are not pretty. What we essentially see is, in effect, martial law, closure of courts, but probably most disturbing, we see hundreds of lawyers being thrashed on the streets. The message we would like to deliver is; this is just not acceptable." A group of law students from Penn State University also joined the protest. They came here to protest the Bush administration's support for General Musharraf.

ABA President William Neukom said, ''We the lawyers of America today in this country call upon General Musharraf to restore the constitution of Pakistan, to reinstate the Supreme Court of Pakistan and to release those lawyers and other leaders who have been wrongly jailed for their lawful protest of his lawless actions." Reports of similar protests by lawyers have been received from other places including New York, Columbus, Ohio and San Francisco.


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