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Pakistan plans new law allowing civilian courts-martial

[JURIST] The government of Pakistan [JURIST news archive] plans to amend the Pakistan Army Act to include a provision enabling the army to court-martial civilians for certain offenses, Pakistan Attorney General Malik Qayyum said Friday. The offenses that could subject civilians to court-martial trials include abduction, use of arms and terrorism, and will particularly apply to offenses committed by tribal militants. The proposed changes would also permit intelligence agencies to detain civilians without charges indefinitely. Internews has more.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) [advocacy website] immediately objected to the proposed provision, saying the Pakistan intelligence agencies should not have any additional powers. The HRCP added that the provision could lead to the creation of summary military courts, which the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] has already banned. ANI has more.

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