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Ousted Pakistan CJ blocked from leaving residence despite government pledge

[JURIST] Pakistani police Wednesday stopped ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] from leaving his official residence in Islamabad notwithstanding a statement by an Interior Ministry spokesman Tuesday that he and other deposed Supreme Court of Pakistan judges were "free to move" [JURIST report] after being under virtual house arrest. Justice Rana Bhagwandas, also dismissed from the high court bench after President Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule, told AFP that there was a "massive police presence" in the official judges compound early Wednesday morning when Chaudhry tried to come out and he was not allowed to do so. Police also mounted barricades to prevent other people approaching. AFP quoted Bhagwandas as saying "We have never seen this kind of method being used on senior judiciary in the history of the country." BBC News has more. Dawn has local coverage. INN has more local coverage.

Pakistan's News daily meanwhile reported Wednesday that several lawyers who attempted to came to see Chaudhry, including retired Supreme Court Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed who ran against Musharraf unsuccessfully in the recent legislative elections for the Pakistani presidency, had been arrested. They were stopped by a magistrate and warned away and were later detained near an Islamabad hotel and taken to an undisclosed location. The News has more.

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