From Pakistan to Israel via Iran
A bit of a round-the-world round-up for you today. A trip from Pakistan to Israel via Iran.
Firstly, Pakistan and the fall-out from Mondays elections continues unabated. The latest move seems to be a determination from US and UK authorities to keep President Musharraf in power and that, as The Independent and The Telegraph reports, could mean no return for the former Chief Justice, Mohammed Iftikhar Chaundhry, who was among the many senior judges pushed aside during last years State of Emergency.
Chaundhry was on the verge of declaring Musharrafs presidency illegal when he was sacked and he would almost certainly return to the issue if re-instated. In a breaking story on The Guardians website, Chaundhry today called for the reversal of all the emergency measures put in place by Musharraf.
However, the victors of Mondays poll, the PPPP, have already had high-level meetings with British officials, and their determination to restore Chaundhry already appears to be softening.
All that is hardly welcome news for us here at Amnesty. For months now weve been calling for a return to a fully independent judiciary. Maybe its time to raise the pressure on our politicians once more
Meanwhile, the news from Iran is deeply disturbing. The Etemaad Daily newspaper reported today that six people have been hanged in the City of Zanjan yesterday, while the state-run IRAN newspaper wrote that four people had been executed in Tehran. It brings to 40 the number of people that have been executed in Iran this year.
The death penalty cannot be tolerated in any circumstances, and as you no doubt know, Amnesty has a long-running campaign against the punishment.
And finally, Israel. Sometimes there is no hiding from complete lunacy. And in the case of Shlomo Benizri of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas Party, it couldnt be more mad. As reported on the BBC Mr Benizri believes that the recent spate of earthquakes in Israel are all down to the parliaments tolerance of gays. Needless to say, such opinions dont quite wash that well with us here at Amnesty! To see what we are up to with LGBT work just click here.
Until next time
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.