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PAKISTAN: Sex videos reveal Musharraf "will stoop to any low"

November 14, 2007
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PRESS RELEASE

AHRC-PL-049-2007

PAKISTAN: Sex videos reveal Musharraf "will stoop to any low"

(Hong Kong, November 14, 2007) Allegations that the government of Pakistan used its intelligence service to make sex videos with which to blackmail judges indicate that General Pervez Musharraf "will stoop to any low" to keep hold of power, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said on Wednesday.

The Sunday Times of London on Sunday reported that the government had allegedly used intelligence officers to make videos of judges and their family members having sex and sent copies to them in an attempt to stop them making a decision that would invalidate General Musharraf's post as both army chief of staff and president.

"The message was clear. If you rule the wrong way, these will become public and your family destroyed," it quoted a British barrister who had learnt about the videos from a Pakistani counterpart as saying. 

Similar reports have appeared in recent days in domestic media.

Basil Fernando, director of the AHRC, said that the allegations were credible, given the lengths to which the military leader would go to stay in charge, and the nature of Pakistan's intelligence services.

"Instead of using state resources to monitor and arrest militants as Musharraf claims, they are being used to make dirty movies and lock judges up in their houses," Fernando said, referring to the detention of dozens of senior justices in their houses since a state of emergency was declared and the constitution suspended on November 3.

"It is clear that this man, and the military of Pakistan, will stoop to any low to undermine other parts of government and deny the people's aspirations that were so clearly shown earlier this year," he said. 

From March to July a popular uprising spread across Pakistan in support of the chief justice, Iftekhar Chaudhry, after he was forcibly removed from office.

The Hong Kong-based regional human rights group in August released a special publication and website on the movement, which can be accessed at http://pakistan.ahrchk.net/chiefjustice.

The chief justice was again removed after the emergency was announced, and a proxy court appointed to approve the latest takeover.

"The erstwhile friends of Musharraf and the Pakistani military should stop pretending that they are dealing with latent democrats and admit that their partners in the war on terror are autocrats, gross human rights abusers and apparently also pornographers," Fernando added.

On Monday the AHRC described the army chief's announcement that general elections would be held by January as a "poorly-concocted and barely-worked out diversionary tactic".

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AHRC-PL-049-2007
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