new court appearance for ex-prime minister Imran Khan


By Le Figaro with AFP

Posted update

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Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan leaving the High Court in Islamabad on May 31, 2023. FAROOQ NAEEM / AFP

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan appeared in court again on Wednesday, as the National Human Rights Commission pointed the finger at the authorities as well as the opposition for the democratic backsliding currently observed in the country.

The arrest of Imran Khan in a corruption case on May 9 in Islamabad sparked riots across the country, to which the authorities responded with a harsh crackdown on his supporters.

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Thousand arrests

On Wednesday, a court in Islamabad and a special anti-corruption court granted bail to Imran Khan in the same case that led to his arrest. Before being released, the former cricketer had been detained for three days, during which violent clashes between his supporters and the police had left at least nine people dead.

The demonstrators had attacked the installations of the army, guilty in their eyes of having orchestrated this arrest. Denouncing terrorist acts, the authorities arrested thousands of supporters of his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and around twenty of its senior officials, accused of incitement to violence. The government has also approved the referral to military courts of people accused of damaging public or military buildings.

Several of the senior PTI officials arrested then announced, upon their release, that they would leave the party or give up politics. Imran Khan, who was ousted from power in April 2022 by a motion of no confidence, after losing the support of the army, sees it as an attempt to exclude him from the next elections, scheduled for October, for which he wanted favorite figure.

” READ ALSO – In Pakistan, the detention of Imran Khan sows anger

After his ouster, Imran Khan issued unprecedented criticism of the army, which had backed him up when he was elected in 2018 before turning away from him. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday called on all political actors to “renounce any new measure that could jeopardize the country’s fragile democracy« .

HRCP chief Hina Jilani said the « supremacy of civil (power) was the greatest casualtyof the current political crisis. « The government’s inability – or unwillingness – to safeguard civilian supremacy or preserve the dignity of parliament has proved woefully disappointing“, she judged. « At the same time, the opposition’s reliance on hostile politics and its contempt for the rule of law played a large partin the recent violence, she noted.

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