Sunday, November 11, 2007

Human rights lawyer still under house arrest; American lawyers plan to march in solidarity

Further to Naomi's post above:
Less attention has been paid by the media to a human rights lawyer who remains under house arrest in Pakistan. She is Asma Jahangir, head of Pakistan's Human Rights Commission -- the website for which, incidentally, appears to have been removed from the Internet. (Jahangir photo at left courtesy of jazbah.org, a website by and about women in Pakistan)
Foreign correspondent Emily Wax wrote in yesterday's Washington Post that Jahangir

was placed under house arrest last Saturday, and since then the government has turned her two-story family villa into a jail. More than 20 prison guards, some with submachine guns, are posted in her garden, and plainclothes officers in oversize suits peer through her windows.
. . . .
Life under house arrest has been 'just lovely, and it hasn't hurt me,' Jahangir, 55 and mother of three, said Friday in an interview at her home. 'I am so proud of Pakistanis and specifically of our lawyers for speaking out and getting their heads bashed in for a better Pakistan.'

American Bar Association lawyers, meanwhile, plan to march around the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday to show solidarity with Pakistan's lawyers, and the ABA encourages similar marches throughout the country. Details here.

2 comments:

Fiona de Londras said...

It's worth noting that Asma is not just a profoundly important human rights lawyer in Pakistan and the founder of the human rights commission there, but also a UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religious belief. US readers may be familiar with her also from a significant New Yorker piece on her work a few months ago.

Diane Marie Amann said...

Thanks for this, Fiona. Your post sent me searching for the New Yorker piece. Entitled "Days of Rage: Challenges for the nation's future," and published July 23, 2007, it's available at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/07/23/070723fa_fact_dalrymple.