More to Musharraf legacy than Bhutto, AI says

Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM
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LONDON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf deserves a fair trial but should be held accountable for rampant abuses, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

Musharraf was scheduled to appear before a Pakistani court Tuesday to face charges he was tied to the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. AI said Tuesday the former military general faces a number of other charges for human rights abuses committed during his 10-year rule over Pakistan.

Polly Truscott, AI's deputy Asia-Pacific director, said in a statement "hundreds, if not thousands" of people inexplicably disappeared during Musharraf's tenure. He is also accused of silencing independent media and his judicial critics.

"It is encouraging to see the courts take the unprecedented step of bringing a former army chief to account for his alleged involvement in past human rights violations and crimes under international law," she said Tuesday. "But Musharraf must be held accountable for all violations committed under his rule, not just a select few."

Musharraf did not show up for his court date in Islamabad. CNN International reported Pakistani intelligence officials warned he may be the target of an assassination attempt.

The British government issued a travel alert for Pakistan last week, warning violence could erupt this week at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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