Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency over the weekend. As part of his constitution suspension and power grab, Musharraf has ordered his soldiers to round up political opposition. An estimated 500 people have been detained thus far, including gay rights activist Asma Jahangir.
Gay rights advocate Asma Jahangir, former United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions and now special rapporteur on religious intolerance, is among the many who have been arrested in Pakistan this afternoon following the suspension of the country’s constitution and the imposition of emergency rule by President Pervez Musharraf.
Asma Jahangir “is an incredible activist and together with her sister, Hina Jilani, has been one of the strongest forces pushing LGBT issues in the [United Nations] system,” Scott Long of Human Rights Watch in New York said by email.
Ms. Jahangir has been detained along with other members of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission.
The United States government’s in a bit of bind right now: we’ve been supporting Musharraf’s government for its alleged help in the protracted, impossible war on terror. Though Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she’ll “review aid” to the nation, she and her colleagues have made no promises to turn the screw on Pakistan’s democracy.