Lawyers and journalists to protest today
LAHORE: Lawyers and journalists will rally on Thursday condemning police brutality against the press on World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) president Justice (r) Fakharun Nisa Khokhar, general secretary Sheram Sarwar Chaudhary, former presidents Ahmed Awais and Hafiz Abdul Rehman Ansari, former secretary Azam Nazir Tarar and Khazim Khan are expected to attend the rally. A resolution for the joint rally was proposed on Saturday. The LHCBA resolution expressed solidarity with the journalist community that was baton-charged by the police on May 3.
The lawyers promised to support journalists’ struggle for freedom of expression. The resolution was moved by Ahmed Nawaz Wattoo and endorsed by Ahmed Awais and Rafiq Butt. The LHCBA president said the government had violated fundamental rights. “When authorities muffle the voice of the people, they shorten their stay in power,” she said. She demanded action against those who beat journalists on May 3. “There is no freedom of movement in the country and international forums should be informed of the violence against journalists to prevent further similar incidents,” she added.
Former LHCBA president Ahmed Awais said that journalists and lawyers stood for the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law. He said that they had performed their role in the collective struggle against the Legal Framework Order (LFO). He said that the people were being deprived of their human rights and the police action against peaceful rallies proved that the government did not want the people to have fundamental rights. Lawyer Dr Farooq Hassan said the government had to restore democracy to ease the struggle of the electronic media. “Depriving the people of their basic social and political rights cannot be termed a service to the country,” he added.