Sunday, November 25, 2007

Canadian Lawyers March in Support of Pakistani Colleagues

This morning in Ottawa, some 150 lawyers marched to the steps of the Supreme Court of Canada building to support the lawyers and judges of Pakistan and to demand the restoration of the rule of law in that country.

In early November, Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf suspended his country's constitution and purged its Supreme Court. Thousands of Pakistani lawyers and others marched in protest against the imposition of a state of emergency and the attack against fundamental democratic principles. Hundreds were beaten by riot police and jailed.

The Ottawa march, organized by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and the County of Carleton Law Association, was led by CBA president Bernard Amyot.

In his comments, Amyot said:

"Today, in front of the Supreme Court of Canada - a symbol of the rule of law - we express our outrage at the treatment endured by our colleagues in Pakistan".

"We wish to reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principle of the independence of judges and lawyers, and of the rule of law in a free and fair society".

"Without these key democratic ingredients, no state can be held accountable (...) "

"Unfortunately, our colleagues in Pakistan are denied such guarantees. Thousands have risked their lives to [protest] the arbitrary use of state power".

"It is our duty - not only to grant - but to show them our full support and admiration (...)"
Pictures from the demonstration:

1) Start at the Delta Hotel on Queen Street:

2) March down Wellington St.:

3) Arrival on the grounds of the Supreme Court of Canada:

4) Speeches on the steps of the Supreme Court building:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:40 am


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