http://www.ThePersecution.org/ Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Recommend UsEmail this PagePersecution News RSS feedeGazetteAlislam.org Blog
Introduction & Updates
<< ... Worldwide ... >>
Monthly Newsreports
Media Reports
Press Releases
Facts & Figures
Individual Case Reports
Pakistan and Ahmadis
Critical Analysis/Archives
Persecution - In Pictures
United Nations, HCHR
Amnesty International
H.R.C.P.
US States Department
USSD C.I.R.F
Urdu Section
Feedback/Site Tools
Related Links
Loading


Author: Dr. Karimullah Zirvi
Description: Excellent book on Islam with the best introduction ever on Ahmadiyyat. It explains what Ahmadiyyat is, it's aims and objects, differences between Ahmadi and non-Ahmadi Muslims, our chanda system, Nizam-e-Jama'at, etc. (read it online)
US$15.00 [Order]
Author: Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin M. Ahmed (ra), 2nd Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Description: A popular edition of an excellent and affectionate account of life of the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) described as the most influential man in the history of the world.
An orphan beckoned to the Call, persecuted by neighbours, driven from his home with a prize tag on his head, quickly establishing a strong community of believers ready to die for his teachings and finally returning triumphant only to forgive his tormentors.
US$9.99 [Order]
By Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, The Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at.
Darurat-ul-Imam, or The Need for the Imam, spells out in depth the urgency and need for the Imam of the age, and his qualities and hallmarks as the Divinely appointed guide, the voice articulate of the age, and the constant recipient of Divine revelations, and how all these qualities are fully present in the person of the holy author.
US$7.00 [Order]

Home Critical Analysis/Archives Report on the Situation of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
Report on the Situation of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan

REPORTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCIES: G
“The judgment has emboldened anti-Ahmadi groups and resulted in more court cases against Ahmadis. In 1994 the Government promised that it would defend Section 298(c) from an appeal on other grounds. In the first 9 months of 1994, 17 cases under Section 298(c) were filed against Ahmadis resulting in 1 conviction. Rashood Ahmad of Sangahr was sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined $166 for displaying a verse from the Koran on his wall.”
US State Department Annual Report on human rights in Pakistan in 1994

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN

DATE=1/28/95
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-173114
TITLE=PAKISTAN HUMAN RIGHTS (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=JENNIFER GRIFFIN
DATELINE=ISLAMABAD
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN HAS RELEASED ITS
ANNUAL REPORT ON RIGHTS ABUSES IN PAKISTAN. JENNIFER GRIFFIN IN
ISLAMABAD REPORTS THE COMMISSION SAYS 1994 SAW THE CONTINUED
ABUSE OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN PAKISTAN..

TEXT: THE HEAD OF PAKISTAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION SAYS RIGHTS
ABUSES IN PAKISTAN CONTINUED UNABATED IN 1994, AND HE SAID
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT WERE SOME OF THE WORST OFFENDERS. THE
COMMISSION HEAD, ASMA JAHANGIR, PRESENTED THE INDEPENDENT GROUP'S
ANNUAL REPORT SATURDAY TO A PRESS CONFERENCE IN ISLAMABAD.

MS. JAHANGIR SAID POLITICAL POLARIZATION IN PAKISTAN HAD CAUSED
THE GOVERNMENT TO TRY TO SQUASH OPPOSITION AND CRITICISM IN THE
COUNTRY. PROMINENT OPPOSITION LEADERS WERE JAILED. FOUR
JOURNALISTS WERE CHARGED FOR DEFAMING THE PROPHET UNDER THE
CONTROVERSIAL BLASPHEMY LAW, FOR WHICH THE PUNISHMENT IS DEATH.
AND SECTARIAN VIOLENCE RAGED WORSE THAN EVER IN CITIES SUCH AS
KARACHI.

MS. JAHANGIR SAID THE GOVERNMENT HAD TRIED TO CURTAIL PRESS
FREEDOM, AND SIDESTEP THE LEGISLATURE BY PROMULGATING A SERIES OF
PRESIDENTIAL ORDINANCES, INCLUDING THE DEATH PENALTY FOR DRUG
OFFENDERS.

THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT SAYS FUNDAMENTALISM FLOURISHED IN 1994,
AND HOW WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND MINORITY RIGHTS WERE SYSTEMATICALLY
IGNORED. IT SAYS THAT IN SOME RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS, CHILDREN WERE
BOUND WITH CHAINS AGAINST THEIR WILL AND FORCED TO MEMORIZE THE
KORAN.

MS. JAHANGIR CALLED SOME OF THE JUDGMENTS UPHELD BY PAKISTAN'S
SUPREME COURT SCANDALOUS.

                     /// JAHANGIR ACT ///

      WE MAY SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME AN EXECUTION OF AMPUTATION
      OF FOOT AND HAND IN PAKISTAN.

                    /// END ACT ///

MS. JAHANGIR SAID RAPE OCCURED AT THE SAME RATE AS LAST YEAR --
ONCE EVERY THREE HOURS. BUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
INCREASED.

/// OPT ///     ONE MAN INTERRUPTED THE PRESS CONFERENCE TO TELL
THE STORY OF HIS 35-YEAR-OLD SISTER, WHO HAD BEEN BURNED TO DEATH
BY HER IN-LAWS IN DECEMBER AFTER GIVING BIRTH TO HER THIRD CHILD.

/// OPT ///     VICTOR GILL, A U-S CITIZEN BORN IN PAKISTAN,
RETURNED FROM THE UNITED STATES TO PROSECUTE HIS SISTER'S
IN-LAWS, WHO HE SAID BURNED HER TO DEATH WHEN SHE SAID SHE WANTED
TO TAKE HER THREE YOUNG CHILDREN TO THE UNITED STATES. BUT HE
SAYS THERE IS LITTLE RECOURSE FOR SOMEONE PROSECUTING A CASE OF
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

/// OPT ///     MR. GILL SAID 869 WOMEN WERE BURNED TO DEATH LAST
YEAR IN PAKISTAN. HE SAID MOST WERE BURNED IN THEIR IN-LAWS'
HOMES. HE SAID THIS HAD BECOME THE EASIEST WAY TO GET RID OF A
DIFFICULT DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. /// END OPT ///

THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ACCUSED THE GOVERNMENT OF DOING NOTHING
TO REVIEW DISCRIMINATORY LAWS. MS. JAHANGIR SAID POLITICIANS
WERE UNWILLING TO ACT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO LOSE THEIR
MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT. SHE SAID, AS A RESULT, HUMAN RIGHTS HAS
SUFFERED. (SIGNED)

NEB/JG/JWH

28-Jan-95 9:40 AM EST (1440 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America

Voice of America gopher service
28 January 1995

US STATE DEPARTMENT

zealots continued to persecute religious minorities
Islamic religious zealots continued to discriminate against and persecute religious minorities, basing their activities in part on discriminatory legislation against those religious minorities. The Government proposed changes in the enforcement of the so-called blasphemy law to limit its abuse, but no changes were enacted and abuse continued. However, in November the Lahore High Court overturned the 1992 blasphemy conviction of a Christian, Gul Masih.

There are fewer than 10 known political prisoners. Several are serving sentences under the laws concerning the Ahmadi religious sect.

Minority groups fear that the Shari'a Law and its goal of "Islamizing" government and society may further restrict the freedom to practice their religion. Many reportedly live in terror because the religious legislation has encouraged an atmosphere of religious intolerance which has led to acts of violence directed at Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Zikris, and others. Several incidents in 1994 heightened the sense of insecurity and fear among the religious minorities.

A 1974 constitutional amendment declared Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority because they do not accept Muhammad as the last prophet of Islam. However, Ahmadis regard themselves as Muslims and observe many Islamic practices. In 1984 the Government inserted Section 298(c) into the Penal Code which prohibited an Ahmadi from calling himself a Muslim and banned Ahmadis from using Islamic terminology. The punishment is up to 3 years' imprisonment and a fine. Since 1984, the Government has used Section 298(c) to harass Ahmadis.

Islamic phrases a copyrighted trademark
In 1993 the Supreme Court ruled against the Ahmadis in a case on the constitutionality of Section 298(c). The Court upheld that section of the law, rejecting the argument that it violated the right of freedom of speech and religion. The judge writing for the majority found that Islamic phrases are in essence a copyrighted trademark of the Islamic religion. He reasoned that the use of Islamic phrases by Ahmadis was equivalent to copyright infringement and violated the Trademark Act of 1940. The majority also found that the use of certain Islamic phrases by Ahmadis was equivalent to blasphemy.
judgment has emboldened anti-Ahmadi groups
The judgment has emboldened anti-Ahmadi groups and resulted in more court cases against Ahmadis. In 1994 the Government promised that it would defend Section 298(c) from an appeal on other grounds. In the first 9 months of 1994, 17 cases under Section 298(c) were filed against Ahmadis resulting in 1 conviction. Rashood Ahmad of Sangahr was sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined $166 for displaying a verse from the Koran on his wall.
arrested five journalist
In January the authorities arrested five journalists, including the septuagenarian editor of Al Fazal, the Ahmadi daily, under Section 298(c). The arrests were made because of general complaints that the writers in Al Fazal had propagated their faith and passed themselves off as Muslims, thus injuring the feelings of Muslims. The five were released on bail on March 7. At year's end, their case was pending in the courts.
the Rawalpindi Development Authority demolished an Ahmadi center in Rawalpindi
In another incident, the Rawalpindi Development Authority demolished an Ahmadi center in Rawalpindi on September 15. The Government claimed that the land was illegally converted to a place of worship--despite the fact that the land had been used for worship for 40 years. On the building plans submitted to the city, the Ahmadi community did not describe the building on the land as a mosque, because that would have violated Section 298(c). In other incidents, several prominent Ahmadis, including a university professor, were killed during the year in what some regard as sectarian murders. Investigations of the cases are continuing.

The Government classifies Ahmadis as "non-Muslims" on their passports. This has led the authorities in Saudi Arabia to prevent Ahmadis from performing the religious pilgrimage to Mecca. In 1992 the Government ordered national identity cards to convey the bearer's religion, but so far the Government has not submitted implementing legislation.

In 1986 the Government inserted Section 295(c) into the Penal Code which stipulates the death penalty for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad. This provision has been used by litigants against Ahmadis, Christians, and even Muslims. In 1992 the Senate unanimously adopted a bill to amend the Blasphemy Law so that the death penalty is mandatory upon conviction.

over 100 blasphemy cases
According to Ahmadi sources, 5 blasphemy cases, involving 15 persons, were registered against Ahmadis in the first 9 months of 1994. Since 1986 over 100 blasphemy cases have been registered against Ahmadis with no convictions. In the same period, at least nine blasphemy cases have been brought against Christians and seven against Muslims

When such religious cases are brought to court, extremists often pack the courtroom and make public threats against an acquittal. As a result, judges and magistrates often continue trials indefinitely, and the accused is burdened with further legal costs and repeated court appearances.

The security of religious minorities was a major issue of discussion in the Government and the press in 1994. The Government promised to introduce measures to reduce the abusive litigation under the blasphemy laws, but defended the laws themselves. At year's end, the Government had not taken any remedial action.

may not vote in Muslim constituencies
Members of minority religious groups may not vote in Muslim constituencies. They cast their ballots for candidates running for special at-large seats reserved for them in the national and provincial assemblies. Most Ahmadis, disputing their designation as non-Muslims, have refused to vote for such representatives.

Human rights monitors and women's groups fear that the Shari'a Law would have a harmful effect on the rights of women and minorities. However, the Law states that women's and minority rights protected under the Constitution would not be affected. The Law's impact on these groups has been limited because the Government has not passed enabling legislation. Nonetheless, the Law reinforces popular attitudes and perceptions, and contributes to an atmosphere in which discriminatory treatment of women and non-Muslims is more readily accepted.

Pakistani laws facilitate discrimination in employment based on religion
In addition to the violence and harassment noted in previous sections of this report, religious minority groups experience much discrimination in employment and education; Pakistani laws facilitate discrimination in employment based on religion. In Pakistan's early years, minorities were able to rise to the senior ranks of the military and civil service. Today, many are unable to rise above midlevel ranks. Because of the lack of educational opportunities for some religious minority groups, discrimination in employment is believed to be increasingly prevalent. Christians, in particular, have difficulty finding jobs above those of menial labor. Ahmadis find that they are prevented from entering management levels in government service. Even the rumor that someone may be an Ahmadi or have Ahmadi relatives can stifle opportunities for employment or promotion.

Officially designated as non-Muslims, Ahmadis in particular, suffer from harassment and discrimination and have limited chances for advancement in the public sector. Young Ahmadis and their parents complain of increasing difficulty in gaining admittance to good colleges, forcing many children to go overseas for higher education. Among religious minorities, there is a well-founded belief that the authorities afford them less legal protection than they afford Muslim citizens.

US State Department Annual Report on human rights in Pakistan in 1994

LCHR Critique of State Dept Report

It also gives a generally accurate account of human rights problems in Pakistan … However, it makes little mention of the government's failure to address the problem of widespread human rights abuses, beyond noting the complicity of the government in the sectarian violence that has plagued the country, marked by a routine failure to denounce, prosecute or punish those involved. Instead, the report states that while the government made a strong public commitment to address human rights concerns, "most human rights abuses are rooted deeply in the social fabric." This remark appears excessively indulgent of culturally relative views of human rights abuses, rather than taking a forthright position on the universality of human rights norms.

Three appeals were submitted to the government by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in 1994. The Special Rapporteur expressed fear for the life and physical integrity of Bashir Qureshi, whose health was reportedly in jeopardy after his arrest and torture by members of the military in January. The Special Rapporteur also expressed concern over the alleged killings in March of Rana Riaz Ahmad and Ahmad Nasrullah by members of an armed Islamic group, and the failure of the police to provide protection to the Ahmadiyya community or adequately investigate the attacks.

The report's discussion of the Blasphemy Law (Section 295-C of the Penal Code) is detailed and comprehensive. It does not, however, mention the government's decision in June to modify the procedure for reporting cases that may fall under the jurisdiction of this law. The government decided that cases should not be registered automatically on complaint, but only after the complaint had been examined by a magistrate and some basis for it established. In order to deter the filing of frivolous or malicious complaints, the individual making the accusation should be liable to a fine in the event that the complaint proves to be without foundation. Conservative religious groups declared that they would accept no changes to the law, and after an episode in which the law minister's comments to an Irish newspaper were misrepresented to suggest that the Blasphemy Law would be repealed altogether, the government backed down in the face of pressure and the law remained unchanged. Amid the controversy, militant religious groups called upon "those who love Islam" to kill Asma Jahangir, general secretary of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. These demands for her death arose as a result of her position as defense lawyer for Rehmat and Salamat Masih, two Christians charged with blasphemy.

an Ahmadi place of worship was the target of sniper fire

Two Ahmadis … were killed and another two … seriously injured during an armed attack organized by neighbors in Faisalabad
Mian Iqbal Ahmed, Amir of the Rajanpur branch of the Ahmadi community, was arrested for preaching his faith and charged under Section 295-C of the Penal Code. He remained in prison at the end of 1994. The charge of blasphemy, as the report says, carries the death penalty. Mohammad Hussain Ghazanfar, also of Rajanpur, was arrested under Section 298-C of the Penal Code for preaching his faith and reportedly subjected to torture to induce a "confession." He also remains in prison. In Karachi, an Ahmadi place of worship was the target of sniper fire, resulting in the wounding of one worshipper. Ahmadis were also barred from public celebration of their centenary in March. Two Ahmadis, Abdul Hafeez and Waseem Ahmad, were killed and another two, Mohammad Ameen and Akhtar, seriously injured during an armed attack organized by neighbors in Faisalabad on August 30. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.
five journalists connected with the daily Al Fazal were arrested

charge of blasphemy added
Pressure against Ahmadi publications and journalists increased considerably in 1994. The report mentions the case in early 1994 of Noor Muhammad Saifi, Agha Saifullah, Qazi Munir Ahmed, Mirza Muhammad Din Naz and Mohammad Ibrahim, five journalists connected with the daily Al Fazal, who were arrested under Section 298-C for "misrepresenting" themselves as Muslims and propagating Ahmadi beliefs in their articles. It does not say, however, that the charge of blasphemy was later added for having "injured the religious feelings of Muslims," or that the judge in the case at first refused to grant bail. The five were later released on bail on March 7 but the charges, which could carry the death penalty, remained pending, with no trial date set by the end of the year.
failure of police to protect minorities
In summary, while the 1994 State Department report is generally comprehensive, it could have taken a more forthright position on issues such as bonded labor, the use of the blasphemy laws, this year's widesread urban violence in Karachi and the failure of police to protect minorities. It could also have paid greater attention to the government's aggressive promotion of foreign investment at the expense of worker rights.

Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights
Critique of State Department 1994 Report
gopher://gopher.igc.apc.org:5000/00/int/lchr/asia/papers/16

Amnesty International

Amnesty_International@io.org

AI: PAKISTAN: ANOTHER AHMADI
DELIBERATELY KILLED BY ISLAMISTS

19 Apr 1995 16:02:09 GMT ?

Newsgroups:
   misc.activism.progressive

This News Service is posted by the International Secretariat of
Amnesty International, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 8DJ
(Tel +44-71-413-5500, Fax +44-71-956-1157)
Sender: Amnesty_International@io.org
Precedence: bulk
AMNESTY-L:
********************
News Service 75/95

AI INDEX: ASA 33/10/95
18 APRIL 1995

PAKISTAN: ANOTHER AHMADI DELIBERATELY KILLED BY ISLAMISTS


A violent mob attacked two members of the Ahmadiyya community in
Shab Qadar, prompting Amnesty International to renew calls on the
government of Pakistan to condemn such attacks and take immediate
measures to prevent them.

      On 9 April 1995, Dr Rashid Ahmad and his son-in law, Riaz
Khan, were attacked as they were about to attend a court hearing
in Shab Qadar in the North West Frontier Province; Riaz Khan was
stoned to death and his dead body stripped and dragged through the
town on a rope. Dr Rashid Ahmad was taken to a hospital in
Peshawar with serious injuries. A third Ahmadi, Advocate Bashir
Ahmad, escaped unhurt.

      The tree men -- senior members of the Ahmadiyya community
from Peshawar -- had come from the provincial capital to help
another Ahmadi, Daulat Khan, who had been harassed following his
conversion to the sect several months ago; local Muslin clergy
reportedly called for the death of the convert.

      Daulat Khan was arrested on 5 April; when members of the
Ahmadiyya community approached the police they were told that he
had been arrested "for his own safety." Later police registered a
case against him under sections 107 (abetment) and 151 (disturbing
public tranquillity by joining an unlawful assembly) of the
Pakistan Penal code.

      The three men attacked had gone to Shab Qadar in order to
file a bail application on Daulat Khan's behalf; when they entered
the court premises, a violent mob attacked the three men with
sticks and stones. To Amnesty International's knowledge, no one
has been criminally charged for the killing and Daulat Khan is
still in custody.

      During the past year, at least seven Ahmadis have been
attacked and killed with impunity by religious extremists. Though
most of these deliberate and arbitrary killings have taken place
in broad daylight and before many eye-witnesses, in none of the
cases reported to Amnesty International have those responsible for
the killings been arrested and charged.

      Amnesty International believes that the failure to
criminally prosecute those responsible for attacks on members of
religious minorities appears to indicate the acquiescence or
connivance of the authorities with the perpetrators.

      "We once again urge the government of Pakistan to
unequivocally and publicly condemn such attacks and to take all
possible measures to protect the lives and security of members of
Pakistan's religious minorities who appear to be at risk," said
Amnesty International.
ENDS/

**********
You may re-post this message onto other sources but if you do then
please tell us at AINS@GN.APC.ORG so that we can keep track of
what is happening to these items.

If you want more information concerning this item then please
contact the Amnesty International section office in your own
country. You may also send email to amnesty-info@igc.apc.org, an
automatic reply service. A list of section contact details is
posted on the APC conference. If there is not a section
of Amnesty International in your country then you should contact
the International Secretariat in London.
END/
**********

Taken from the newsgroup misc.activism.progressive on 19 April 1995

Amnesty International

majority of those charged with blasphemy belong to the Ahmadiyya Community
“The abuse of Pakistan's blasphemy laws is another major human rights concern. The majority of those charged with blasphemy belong to the Ahmadiyya Community but Christians are increasingly accused of blasphemy…”

“While the present government states the importance of respecting human rights, it has taken little action to implement its position. The government announced procedural changes intended to curb the abuse of blasphemy laws, but little concrete legislative measures have been taken”.

Human Rights and US Security Assistance
Report of Amnesty International
18 May 1995

Amnesty International

DATE=7/6/95
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-30520
TITLE=AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
BYLINE=DAUD MAJLIS
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
NOT VOICED:

INTRO: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS ISSUED ITS ANNUAL REPORT ABOUT
HUMAN RIGHTS IN 151 COUNTRIES DURING 1994. THE REPORT NOTES
ABUSES IN ALL REGIONS OF THE WORLD. MANY CASES ARE NEVER
INVESTIGATED AND RARELY ARE THE GUILTY BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. FROM
WASHINGTON, VOA'S DAUD MAJLIS LOOKS AT THE SOUTH ASIAN ASPECT OF
THE REPORT.

TEXT: PRESENTING THE REPORT PIERRE SANE, SECRETARY GENERAL OF
THE LONDON-BASED ORGANIZATION, SAID AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL IS
TRYING TO CREATE A CLIMATE WHERE THE PERPETRATORS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ABUSES WILL BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE AND THE VICTIMS WILL BE GIVEN
BACK THEIR DIGNITY.

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH V-O-A, MR. CASEY KELSO, A SPOKESPERSON FOR
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL TALKED ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS IN THREE SOUTH
ASIAN COUNTRIES -- PAKISTAN, INDIA AND BANGLADESH.

ACCORDING TO THE REPORT MORE THAN 100 PRISONERS IN PAKISTAN HAVE
BEEN CHARGED WITH BLASPHEMY. THE PRISONERS CONTEND THEY WERE
EXERCISING THEIR RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION. MR. KELSO SAID
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WAS PARTICULARLY CONCERNED THAT BLASPHEMY
LAWS WERE BEING ABUSED IN PAKISTAN. HE SAID THESE LAWS IN
PAKISTAN ARE USED TO TARGET THE AHMEDIA COMMUNITY IN PARTICULAR.

                      // KELSO ACTUALITY //

         WHILE THERE ARE NO EVIDENCE TO PUT CHARGES AGAINST THE
         AHMEDIA MEMBERS, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN PUT ON
         TRIAL AND HAVE BEEN THREATENED WITH DEATH BY ISLAMIST
         MILITANTS WHO EITHER DISRUPT THE COURT TRIAL OR WHO HAVE
         TAKEN, ON CERTAIN OCCASIONS IN 1994, STEPS TO BEAT OR
         EVEN KILL THOSE WHO WERE ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY.

                      // END ACTUALITY //

THE AMNESTY SPOKESPERSON SAID THE GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN HAS
ANNOUNCED INTENTIONS TO CURB THE ABUSE OF BLASPHEMY LAWS BUT NO
ACTION HAS SO FAR BEEN TAKEN TO RESTRICT FALSE ACCUSERS.

ACCORDING TO AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AT LEAST 35 EXTRAJUDICIAL
EXECUTIONS WERE REPORTED IN PAKISTAN DURING 1994.

THE AMNESTY REPORT SAYS CIVIL CONFLICT HAS BEEN THE CONTEXT FOR
HUNDREDS OF POLITICAL KILLINGS AND SCORES OF DISAPPEARANCES IN
INDIA. IN THE 1994 REPORT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FOCUSED ON THE
STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR.

                      // KELSO ACTUALITY //

         IN THE STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR WE HAD ALMOST DAILY
         REPORTS OF SHOOTINGS OR PEOPLE BEING TORTURED. THERE
         AGAIN WE HAVE 350 POLITICAL PRISONERS -- MANY OF THEM
         POLITICAL PRISONERS -- THAT WERE HELD IN PRISONS. THERE
         WERE POLITICAL DETAINEES AND CRIMINAL SUSPECTS WHO WERE
         TORTURED IN A ROUTINE MANNER.

                      // END ACTUALITY //

MR. KELSO EMPHASIZED THAT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS APPEALED NOT
ONLY TO THE GOVERNMENTS BUT ALSO TO THE ARMED OPPOSITION GROUPS
BOTH IN PAKISTAN AND IN INDIA TO STOP HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES. HE
SAID IN JUNE AMNESTY MADE AN APPEAL TO OPPOSITION GROUPS TO
RELEASE ALL HOSTAGES HELD IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR.

THE AMNESTY REPORT EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT TORTURE AND
MISTREATMENT OF DETAINEES THROUGHOUT INDIA. LEGAL REFORMS WERE
PROMISED BUT WERE NOT IMPLEMENTED TO SAFEGUARD THOSE DETAINEES.
MR. KELSO POINTED OUT THAT THE TERRORIST AND DISRUPTIVE
ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT (TADA) HAS REMAINED IN FORCE EVEN
THOUGH THERE IS A PUBLIC FEELING THAT THE ANTI-TERRORIST
LEGISLATION SHOULD BE REVIEWED AND PERHAPS REPEALED.

                      // KELSO ACTUALITY //

     MINIMUM LEGAL SAFEGUARDS SHOULD BE APPLIED FOR THOSE WHO
     ARE BEING TRIED UNDER T-A-D-A YET THE MINISTRY OF
     INTERNAL SECURITY EVEN THOUGH IT ADMITS THAT T-A-D-A HAS
     BEEN MISUSED EXTENSIVELY AGAINST MOSLEMS STILL HAS NOT
     TAKEN THOSE STEPS TO ESTABLISH SOME SORT OF SAFEGUARDS.

                      // END ACTUALITY //

IN BANGLADESH, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS BEEN SPECIALLY
CONCERNED ABOUT THE PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE. MR. KELSO SAID JUST
AS ANTI-TERRORIST LAWS HAVE BEEN ABUSED IN INDIA, IN BANGLADESH
THE SPECIAL POWERS ACT HAS BEEN USED TO IMPRISON DOZENS OF PEOPLE
ON CRIMINAL CHARGES SIMPLY FOR EXPRESSING THEIR POLITICAL
BELIEFS.

                      // KELSO ACTUALITY //

      WE HAVE POLITICAL PRISONERS WHO HAVE BEEN TRIED UNDER
      ANTI-TERRORIST LEGISLATION. WE BELIEVE THEY HAVE NOT
      RECEIVED A FAIR TRIAL. AND AGAIN TORTURE IN POLICE
      STATIONS AND JAILS HAVE CONTINUED. ONE OF THE THEMES IN
      BANGLADESH, AS WELL AS IN PAKISTAN, WAS THE UPSURGE OF
      ISLAMIST FUNDAMENTALISM OR ISLAMIST FEELINGS THAT DID
      NOT GUARANTEE PEOPLE WHO ARE ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY OF A
      FAIR TRIAL.

                      // END ACTUALITY //

MR. KELSO SAID ONE OF THE CONCERNS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS ALL
OVER THE WORLD IS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET A FAIR TRIAL
REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER CRIMES THEY ARE ACCUSED OF. (SIGNED)

CENA/DM/CF

06-Jul-95 9:17 AM EDT (1317 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America

VOA gopher
gopher://gopher.voa.gov/00/newswire/thu/AMNESTY_INTERNATIONAL
6 July 1995 9:17 AM EDT (1317 UTC)

Amnesty International Annual Report Summaries 1995

more than 100 prisoners of conscience were charged with blasphemy
In Pakistan, more than 100 prisoners of conscience were charged with blasphemy for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of religion, including a man arrested for allegedly inviting others to watch a television program featuring the exiled head of the Ahmadiyya community. Although there appeared to be no evidence to support the charges, the man's trial began in September. Despite government announcements of reforms to curb the abuse of the blasphemy laws, which carry a mandatory death penalty, no action was taken.

Amnesty International Annual Report Summaries 1995
AI Index: POL 10/03/95
1800 HRS GMT, WEDNESDAY 5 JULY 1995

Amnesty International Annual Report 1995 Updates

stoned to death
In April, a member of the Ahmadi sect who had gone to provide bail for another man imprisoned for conversion was stoned to death in the court premises. Police did nothing to assist him.

Amnesty International Annual Report 1995 Updates
AI Index: POL 10/04/95
1800 HRS GMT, WEDNESDAY 5 JULY 1995

Tayyab Mahmud

… Persecution and intimidation of minority sects and religions appears to be increasing with active or tacit approval of public authorities. Such developments are disturbing indeed, but they become alarming when they are validated by the superior judiciary. Pakistan's constitution, which enumerates guaranteed fundamental rights and provides for separation of state power, ensures judicial protection of vulnerable sections of the society against unlawful state action. Unfortunately, Pakistan's superior judiciary has seen fit to abdicate this role completely when it comes to the protection of religious minorities. …

pronouncement of the Supreme Court in Dard Case. … the pronouncement is an impermissible variance of foundational constitutional jurisprudence of the country, the implied covenant of fredom of religion between religious minorities and Pakistan movement, and the dictates of international human rights law.

… The bulk of this opinion is devoted to establishing that Ahmadis are not Muslims because their theological doctrines are at variance with beliefs of the majority of Muslims, disregarding the appellants' plea that this issue was not before the court and that protection of Article 20 is afforded to the Ahmadis irrespective of classification of their religious beliefs. The court argued that in prohibiting the use of distinguishing characteristics of Islam by the Ahmadis, the ordinance was in line with statutes that regulate commercial activity, target deceptive trade practices, and protect trade marks …

The polemical tone of the judgment and repeated use of rhetorical questions by the court is remarkable. For example, the court asked: "Can then anyone blame a Muslim if he loses control on hearing, reading, or seeing such blasphemous material as has been produced by Mirza Sahib?" The ordinance was upheld on the grounds that "if an Ahmadi is allowed by the administration or the law to display or chant in public, the Shar'i Islam, it is like creating a Rushdi' [sic] out of him. Can the administration in that case guarantee his life, liberty and property, and if so at what cost?"

The Dard Case rests on some rather spurious assumptions and propositions, some express and others implied …

Previous -> Reports of Human Rights Agencies: F Table of Contents Top of Page Next - Reports of Human Rights Agencies: H
Last modified: 7 January 1996
Sultan Sial