To the United States Secretary of State

Dear Secretary Tillerson,

Over a year ago on January 2, 2016, an Ahmadi optician and bookseller Mr. Abdul Shakoor (‘Shakoor Bhai’), was arrested and imprisoned in Pakistan for 8 years for simply stocking books - including the Holy Quran - published by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

At the age of eighty, Shakoor Bhai was convicted under Pakistan’s repressive anti-Ahmadi and anti-terrorism legislation, and his arrest, conviction and imprisonment is a shocking travesty of justice. Ahmadi Muslims are peaceful, law-abiding citizens of Pakistan who have been sorely persecuted and marginalized for decades. The use of anti-terror laws on this innocent, elderly gentleman is astonishing, especially when many extremists and terrorists – including those who have murdered peace loving members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community simply on grounds of faith – roam free.

This reflects the ongoing state-sponsored persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and as a concerned Ahmadi Muslim American, I urge you to raise this matter with the Government of Pakistan and seek the immediate release of Shakoor Bhai (and his innocent Shia shop assistant Mr. Mazhar Abbas who was also arrested and imprisoned).

The Pakistan authorities should be urged to focus on thwarting the efforts of the real terrorists of Pakistan, who routinely incite violence, murder and mayhem and are destroying Pakistan’s hopes for peace, prosperity, and democracy. The Government of Pakistan must also be held accountable for its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and repeal its horrific blasphemy and anti-Ahmadiyya laws, which criminalize Ahmadi activities and deprive them of full and free voting rights.



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