Ahmadi Muslim in Peshawar Arrested and Charged with Blasphemy
6 October 2020
On 8 September 2020, Imran Ali aged 15 years falsely accused 20 year old Mr Abdul Majeed of blasphemy.
In a co-ordinated attack, a violent crowd gathered outside Abdul Majeed’s family home at around midnight. The crowd instigated by a local cleric included people from outside the local area. It attacked Mr Majeed’s home (owned by his father) and tried to set it on fire with the residents still inside. Three hours later, the family miraculously managed to escape at 3.00am when police arrived.
The police reassured the family that they would keep them safe and that no action would be taken against the 20 year old as there was no evidence of blasphemy.
However, on 10 September, the local cleric and individuals from the violent crowd attended Phandu Police Station in District Peshawar and demanded that the police prosecute Abdul Majeed for blasphemy. The police accepted a ‘first instance report’ (FIR) from Imran Ali and charged Abdul Majeed under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code which carries the death penalty. No evidence was produced in support of the charge. Mr Majeed was arrested at 3.00am and has been taken into custody.
It is deeply disturbing that the police have succumbed to external extremist pressure and have charged a 20-year-old with blasphemy which may now result in him facing the death penalty.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community remains extremely concerned about Abdul Majeed’s safety and welfare whilst he remains in police custody – especially given the recent murder of Mr Tahir Naseem who was shot dead in a courtroom in Peshawar having also been charged with blasphemy.
We urge the Government of Pakistan to:
– Urgently release Abdul Majeed without charge
– Offer Abdul Majeed and his family full protection and appropriate security measures
– Ensure a fair and impartial trial
– Arrest those responsible for the attack on Abdul Majeed’s family home.
Contact: Department for External Affairs Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK