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Correspondence: Call for the immediate release of Farooq Tariq

For the immediate release of Farooq Tariq and the other prisoners detained after the wave of repression of the democratic movement in Pakistan

13 June 2007

Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP), was arrested without a warrant on June 5, 2007 at his residence in Lahore. A posteriori, the Ministry of the Interior issued a three-month detention order against him. In order to further isolate him, he was transferred to the prison of Bahawalpur. All visits to him are prohibited, except with the prior agreement of the Punjab Home Secretary. [1]

Several hundred people were arrested on suspicion on June 5th and 6th and many others are subject to judicial procedures. The regime is trying to break by force the democratic mobilizations which followed the suspension on  March 9th of the President of the Supreme Court, Judge Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudry. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest against this arbitrary measure. Repression by the regime was already responsible for 41 deaths and many injured in Karachi on May 12th and 13th. President Pervez Musharraf almost decreed a state of emergency and no one knows how far the military regime is ready to go to stamp out the democratic contestation.

Farooq Tariq was arrested because he was fully engaged in these mobilizations, in particular in support of the Lawyers’ Movement that was created after the suspension of Judge Chaudry. Farooq Tariq is also known for his solidarity activities on the international level. He contributed to the organization of the World Social Forum of Karachi in 2006. He took an active part in other World Forums, like those in Mumbai (India) and Nairobi (Kenya), as well as European Forums, including the last one in Athens (Greece). He is also an activist of the international anti-war movement.

The situation is all the more worrying because the regime does not hesitate to use intolerable measures against Farooq Tariq and other prisoners: psychological pressures, inhuman conditions of detention (over-populated cells in very hot weather, lack of water and sanitary facilities...), prohibition of visits...

We call for the respect of human rights and freedoms in Pakistan.

We demand the immediate release of Farooq Tariq and all those who have been imprisoned for having taken part in the democratic mobilizations.

 Send your signatures to: Pierre.

1. Latest news: after 9 days of his arrest Farooq Tariq, was shifted from Central jail Bahawalpur to Kot Lakhpat jail Lahore. Still, no visit can be done without prior approval by the Punjab Home Secretary, which proves very difficult to obtain. Meanwhile, a political prisoner of Pakistan Peoples Party in Kot Lakhpat jail, Sarmad Mansoor, died of heart attack Thursday. His death is result of very bad prison conditions and inhuman attitude of the jail authorities. PPP has held the jail authorities responsible for the death.

Pierre Rousset
Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF)


Farooq Tariq released 
Dear All! 
Lahore: After 15 days of detention, Labour Party General Secretary General Farooq  Tariq was released on Tuesday (19 June) from Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore. Dozens of Party workers and members and some civil society activists received him warmly outside the jail. We are thankful to all comrades, friends and well wishers who extended support and solidarity to Farooq Tariq during his detention and launched struggle and campaigns for the release of LPP General Secretary. 
A detailed e-mail regarding his two week detention will soon be circulated by Farooq Tariq.  Meanwhile Farooq Tariq is going to hold a press conference at Lahore Press Club at 5 pm Tuesday. 
On behalf of LPP 
Khaliq Shah



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