Saturday, 26 January 2008

*Musharaff's limo ambushed in London

Peter Tatchell yesterday celebrated his birthday by making a brave and dangerous protest against oppression.

Protest against Pakistani dictator

London – 25 January 2008

President Musharraf's limousine was forced to halt in Park Lane,
London, tonight (25 January), when human rights campaigner Peter
Tatchell ran in front of his car in protest at the Pakistan dictator's
"suppression of democracy and human rights."

The ambush happened outside the Hilton Hotel Park Lane, as the
President's motorcade drew close to the hotel, where he was scheduled
to speak.

"To avert police attention, I stood inconspicuously at a bus stop
reading a newspaper, waiting for Musharraf's motorcade to arrive,"
recalled Mr Tatchell.

"When the police motorcycle escorts drew level, I ran out into Park
Lane and straight in front of the President's car. It screeched to a

"I unfurled a placard protesting against Musharraf's massacre of
civilians in occupied Baluchistan. The placard read:

"Stop Pakistan Massacre of Baluch people."

"Musharraf could clearly see the placard. He did not look pleased.

"His driver tried to back up and drive around me, but I ran in front
of the limousine again, forcing it to halt once more.

"I could see Musharraf shouting something at his driver. Perhaps he
feared that I was an assassin or a suicide bomber.

"The limo reversed again and tried to swerve past me. I blocked it for
the third time.

"Musharraf and his colleagues look very agitated.

"Eventually, police motorcycle escorts ran over and dragged me away
from the bonnet of Musharraf's vehicle.

"They pulled me across the road to the central reservation in Park
Lane, where I was pinned against the railing.

"Shortly afterwards, the police let me go and I joined the main
anti-Musharraf demonstration outside the Hilton Hotel, organised by
lawyers protesting against the arrest of fellow lawyers and supreme
court judges in Pakistan.

"Although my placard specifically condemned Musharraf's human rights
abuses in Baluchistan, I support all the people of Pakistan who are
struggling against dictatorship and for democracy.

"It is shameful that the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is
entertaining Musharraf at Downing Street on Monday. He is siding with
a dictator against the people of Pakistan.

"Musharraf is guilty of crimes against humanity, including the
indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas in Baluchistan, using
weaponry supplied by Britain and the US.

"Pakistani human rights groups say his regime practices detention
without trial, torture and extra-judicial killings.

"Musharraf is a criminal. He should be arrested by the UK authorities
and put on trial in The Hague," said Mr Tatchell.

Peter Tatchell has written an article for The Guardian newspaper in
London, condemning the Musharraf regime. Read it here:

Further information:

Peter Tatchell 020 7403 1790

Peter Tatchell is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East and

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