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Pakistan ex-PM Sharif appeals deportation as contempt of high court ruling

[JURIST] Lawyers for former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile] filed an appeal of Sharif's Monday deportation [JURIST report] to Saudi Arabia with the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Tuesday, asking the court to hold the Pakistani government in contempt for violating an August Supreme Court ruling that Sharif had an "inalienable right to enter and remain in the country" [JURIST report] as a citizen of Pakistan. Sharif was arrested on corruption and money laundering charges [JURIST report] and then expelled shortly after landing in the country on a flight from London. Sharif was first sent to Saudi Arabia seven years ago under a deal with then coup leader and now president Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile] to stay out of the country for 10 years. Over the weekend, security officials detained more than 2,000 supporters [JURIST report] of Sharif anticipating his return to Pakistan, where he was expected to challenge Musharraf's re-election bid. AP has more.

Sharif's deportation has sparked worldwide outrage, prompting several retired Supreme Court of Pakistan justices to publicly condemn it and advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] to accuse Musharraf of flouting international law [HRW statement] by forcing Sharif back into exile. Retired Justice Fakharunisa Khokhar said Sharif should have been given a trial for the new corruption charges under which he was arrested rather than being immediately deported. Pakistani Attorney General Malik Qayyum countered that the government's move was "according to the law." HRW has called for the Pakistani government to release those arrested over the weekend for supporting Sharif's return. AFP has more. From Pakistan, the Daily Times has local coverage.

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