Pakistan News

Sindh Bar Council expresses concern over trial of civilians for May 9 riots

KARACHI: The Sindh Bar Council (SBC) on Monday expressed serious apprehension over the decision of the federal government to hold trial of civilians allegedly involved in May 9 riots by military courts.

SBC vice chairman Azhar Hussain Abbasi and executive committee chairman Naeem Qureshi said in a statement that such a trial would violate the country’s international human rights obligations as international covenant on civil and political rights, which Pakistan ratified in 2010, guaranteed everyone’s rights to timely trial by a “competent, independent and impartial court”.

“It is in violation of Articles 4, 9, 10-A, 17 and 25 of the Constitution. The trial by military court has once again been introduced on the pretext of effectively handling terrorism cases, which itself is a violation of Article 10 that pertains to fair trial,” it added.

The SBC maintained that it had serious repercussions for the rule of law, constitutionalism and democracy.

“The bar council also condemned the arrest of thousands of political workers and calls upon the government to urgently look into the matter by treating every individual and political worker in accordance with law,” it said, adding that every citizen has the right of a fair trial under Article 10 of the Constitution.

It also demanded that the authorities ensure supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2023

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