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Pakistan lawyers continue courts boycott over CJ suspension

[JURIST] Lawyers boycotted courts across Pakistan Wednesday for a third day in a continued effort to protest Friday's suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [JURIST report] for unspecified misconduct. The nationwide strike by Pakistani lawyers was coupled with rallies held in Karachi and other urban centers. Pakistan Bar Council [profession website] President Qazi Anwar told AFP that starting Thursday lawyers will continue to observe a one hour strike daily until Chaudhry is reinstated and that two lawyers from every bar in the country will commit to a day-long hunger strike. Over 200 lawyers and liberal party supporters protested [Reuters report] outside the Supreme Court Tuesday. On Monday, twenty Pakistani lawyers were injured by riot police [JURIST report] when more than 3,000 lawyers gathered outside the Lahore High Court [official website] building for a sit-in. Chaudhry's suspension has been condemned by lawyers as an attack on the judiciary's independence.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [official website; BBC profile] suspended Chaudhry "after receiving numerous complaints and serious allegations for misconduct, misuse of authority and actions prejudicial to the dignity of office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan." On Tuesday, Pakistan's Supreme Judicial Council [governing constitutional provisions] held a hearing [JURIST report] on the alleged misconduct in a two-hour closed-door session before adjourning proceedings until Friday. AFP has more.

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