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Chaudhry joins Pakistan lawyers protest for reinstatement of ousted judges

[JURIST] Ousted Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] Tuesday joined protests [Daily Times report] calling for the restoration of judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf during his emergency rule [JURIST report] last November. Members of the Pakistan lawyers' movement [New York Times backgrounder] began the protests Monday, following through on last month's promise [JURIST report] to hold a "long march" from city to city if the new government failed to reach agreement on reinstating the judges. The march is scheduled to end with a sit-in at the Parliament in Islamabad later this week, but lawyers have said that the protests will continue until the government restores the judiciary and reverses any unconstitutional actions taken by Musharraf. Chaudhry is scheduled to address lawyers in Lahore later Wednesday before traveling to Islamabad. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) [party website] leader Nawaz Sharif is reportedly returning from a trip to London [Andhranews.net report] to also participate in the rallies. AFP has more. From Pakistan, the News has local coverage.

Chaudhry and the other judges were effectively dismissed on November 3 [JURIST report] after Musharraf suspended the country's constitution and declared emergency rule [proclamation, PDF]. An Army major last November locked Chaudhry in his residence [JURIST report]. Chaudhry was ousted as the country anticipated a Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report] on whether Musharraf had been eligible to run for re-election as Pakistan's president while still army chief.

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