Judge orders release of detainees
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan‘s chief justice ordered the immediate release of detained opposition members yesterday as President Pervez Musharraf formalized his disputed candidacy for a new five-year term.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry issued the edict after summoning police and government officials to explain who signed an order to close roads into the capital yesterday to prevent a planned lawyer-led protest against Gen. Musharraf.
State television reported that the court had ordered the release of political detainees, including Javed Hashmi, acting leader of the party of exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Bush to attend Dalai Lama event
President Bush next month will attend a ceremony to award the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama, an event likely to annoy China, which views Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader as a separatist.
White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said yesterday that the president would attend the Oct. 17 ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.
“This will be the first time that a sitting U.S. president will appear with the Dalai Lama in a public event,” the International Campaign for Tibet said. Mr. Bush previously met with the Dalai Lama at the White House.
Outspoken lawyer detained — again
BEIJING — A Chinese lawyer convicted of subversion has again been detained after writing to U.S. lawmakers asking them to help expose what he called an “ongoing human rights disaster in China,” an activist friend said this week.
Gao Zhisheng was taken from his Beijing apartment by plainclothes police on Saturday night, activist Hu Jia said, citing information from Mr. Gao’s relatives.
From wire dispatches and staff reports