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Pakistan government urged to release secret terror detainees held to help US

[JURIST] A Pakistani rights group Sunday urged Pakistan's new government to immediately release dozens of people its security agencies have secretly detained as part of President Pervez Musharraf's cooperation with the US [USIP backgrounder] in its "war on terror" [JURIST news archive]. Defense of Human Rights and other critics of Musharraf claim his administration has detained dozens of militant suspects without formal charges since Sept. 11, 2001, handing some of them over to the US illegally. Pakistan's new coalition government - led by Musharraf opponents - has promised to make freeing the secretly detained a priority, but Pakistani authorities are still said to be detaining suspected militants.

The ruling coalition in Pakistan was elected on a platform of opposing Musharraf's authoritarian rule, his ousting of the country's superior court judges after his November proclamation of emergency, and his handling of the war on terror. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani [official profile] reiterated [JURIST report] earlier this month that he will restore Pakistan's constitution [text], ensure the supremacy of the country's parliament, and preserve judicial independence [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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