London demonstration to mark Musharraf visit
Amnesty International activists and lawyers will lead a demonstration outside Downing Street in London on Saturday to protest against the serious human rights abuses in Pakistan while President Pervez Musharraf is in London. Pakistan's President begins a four-day visit to the UK on Friday. He is due to meet Gordon Brown on Monday. The demonstration is being organised by Amnesty International together with the Society of Asian Lawyers and the Solicitors’ International Human Rights Group. The demonstration will take place at 12pm on Saturday on the opposite side of the road of 10 Downing Street in London. Speeches will be made by Sohail Warraich, Amnesty International's Pakistan researcher, Shams Rahman, a solicitor who practises in the UK and in Pakistan and Michael Ellman, Chairman of Solicitors International Human Rights Group. During the recent State of Emergency, 1,734 lawyers and political activists were arrested in Punjab, 489 in Sindh and a further 800 lawyers in Lahore – and hundreds more in other areas. President Musharraf also suspended the constitution during the State of Emergency, gave himself illegal powers and sacked 12 of the 17 Supreme Court judges replacing them with his own "yes men". Pakistan is due to hold elections on 18 February.