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Appeal for the release of Farooq Tariq

Saturday 16 June 2007

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

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 Ministry of the Interior.

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 ETC.

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.

First signatures:

Gilbert Achcar, Professor, SOAS, University of London, Great Britain

Daniel Bensaïd, University of Paris VIII, France.

Olivier Besancenot, spokesperson of the LCR (France)

Vincent Charbonnier, trade unionist (SNASUB-FSU, Vénissieux), France.

Jean Pierre Debourdeau, FSU, vice-president of Attac 21, France

Chris Harman (editor International Socialism journal), Great Britain

Alain Krivine, former member of the European Parliament, spokesperson of the LCR, France

Luc Quintin, Physiology (CNRS UMR 5123), France

Pierre Rousset, Europe Solidaire sans Frontieres (ESSF), France.

Roseline Vachetta, former member of the European Parliament, spokesperson of the LCR, France.

Sign this appeal now and get others to do the same. Send your signatures to: Pierre. Rousset@ras.eu.org