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Amnesty International Urges U.S. Ambassador to Visit Benazir Bhutto

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 13, 2007
1:55 PM

CONTACT:  Amnesty International
Laura Spann 202-544-0200 x302

 
Amnesty International Urges U.S. Ambassador to Visit Benazir Bhutto
Negroponte Must Deliver Strong Message to Musharraf
 

WASHINGTON - November 13 - Amnesty International USA's advocacy director for Asia T. Kumar issued the following statement in response to additional crackdowns by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, including the most recent house arrest of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the continued detention of the country's Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Human Rights Commission Chairman Asma Jahangir:

"While the Bush administration continues to view Pakistan as a valuable ally in the war on terror, it must not turn a blind eye to Musharraf's continued repression of the Pakistani people. Amnesty International urges President Bush to direct U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson to visit Bhutto, Chaudhry and Jahangir to evaluate their welfare and discuss recent developments. President Bush and the United States need to send a signal to Pakistan's civil society that Musharraf's blatant disregard for freedom of movement and peaceful assembly and the use of martial law will not be tolerated."

The organization calls on U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte to fully illustrate to Musharraf the consequences of continued repression including the suspension of economic and military aid to Pakistan during his upcoming visit to the country.

Earlier today, Amnesty International and eleven other human rights groups sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice urging the U.S. to suspend all security assistance to Pakistan until recent repressive measures are reversed. In the letter, the human rights community explained how Musharraf's declared state of emergency "flies in the face of the Administration's policy of supporting freedom and democracy as an antidote to extremism" and should not be excused.

For a copy of the letter or more information, please contact Laura Spann at 202-544-0200 x302 or lspann@aiusa.org.

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