Pakistani socialist arrested

On the afternoon of May 4, a contingent of police arrested Farooq Tariq, the general secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan, in his Lahore office. LPP members in Lahore and Karachi held demonstrations protesting Tariq's arrest. The party has been targeted for its pro-democracy activities, particularly its role in the ongoing movement for the restoration of the chief justice of Pakistan's High Court, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

During the weeks prior to his arrest, Tariq had been the target of surveillance by Pakistani intelligence agencies. Several times he was summoned to report to the police and asked to stop his anti-dictatorship activism. He refused.

Messages calling for Tariq's release can be sent to the interior ministry at minister@interior.gov.pk and to Pakistan's high commission in Canberra: phone (02) 6290 1676; fax (02) 6290 1073; or email parepcanberra@internode.on.net.