Pakistan: Over 30 Ahmadis arrested or detained during Eid celebrations

Over 30 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community were arrested or detained ahead of and during Eid celebrations in Pakistan which concluded on 20 June.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Foreign Missions Office reports that 23 Ahmadis were detained for varying durations under Section 3 (1) of the Punjab Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960. All have since been released.

In addition, 11 Ahmadis and five non-Ahmadi friends were arrested in connection with cases registered against them under Section 298-C of the Pakistani Penal Code (PPC). Seven Ahmadis and all five non-Ahmadis remain in custody, and a further seven Ahmadis have also had criminal cases registered against them under the same section of the PPC.

Among those arrested during the period was a 13-year-old boy, Faizan Ahmad, who was detained on 17 June in Talwandi Musa Khan near Gujranwala in Punjab Province for having a sacrificial ram in his home. He was released the following day.

The arrests and detentions took place amid a marked increase in hostility towards the Ahmadiyya community across the country. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Foreign Missions Office has also documented widespread threats and harassment towards Ahmadi Muslims during Eid, primarily by the Islamic extremist Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party.

In Umerkot, Sindh Province, extremists vandalised Ahmadi properties, breaking windows and climbing walls to record videos before being dispersed upon police intervention.

Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya community is the most institutionally and constitutionally oppressed religious group in the country. Various laws categorise the Ahmadiyya community as ‘non-Muslims’ and place restrictions on the community, including a 1974 constitutional amendment, and Sections 298-B and C of the penal code.

CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: ‘The Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan has faced unacceptable mistreatment and hostility for decades and this latest spike in violations against them by both state and non-state actors is highly concerning. These individuals should have been free to celebrate their religious festival, but instead many have spent it either behind bars or in fear of harassment and violence at the hands of extremists who act largely with impunity. CSW calls on the government of Pakistan to repeal legislation which restricts the fundamental human rights of this community, and to ensure that those responsible for inciting hatred towards Ahmadis are brought to justice.’

Note to Editors:

  1. Section 298-C of the Pakistani Penal Code states that any Ahmadi who ‘directly or indirectly poses himself a Muslim or calls, or refers to his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites other to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation or in any manner whatsoever outrages religious feelings of Muslims shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to a fine.’

The original post can be read HERE.

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