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Home > English > Website archives > Rainbow of Crisis > Appeal for the Release of Farooq Tariq


Appeal for the Release of Farooq Tariq

Saturday 16 June 2007, by Pierre Rousset

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.

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

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
vist 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.