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Ousted Pakistan judges now 'free to move' but still face restrictions

[JURIST] Judges dismissed from the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] and held under virtual house arrest in the wake of President Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule [JURIST report] are now "free to move" and leave their homes, Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Igbal Cheema said Tuesday. Justice Rana Bhagwandas [JURIST news archive] nonetheless told AFP that the ousted judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive], still face heavy restrictions on their mobility. He said Chaudhry still could not leave his police-encircled residence and that while other judges could leave their homes and move around the judges' compound in Islamabad they had to seek government permission to leave, a situation he described as "cumbersome". AFP has more.

Earlier Tuesday, Pakistani authorities said they had released more than 3400 lawyers and political activists [JURIST report] detained in the aftermath of the November 3 declaration. Cheema told AFP Tuesday that some 2000 others still in custody would be released "soon," although the release of people facing criminal charges would take longer.

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