June 10th, 2024
Incident ReportJune 10th, 2024

Bar Association Directs Police to Stop Ahmadi Muslims from Following Their Religious Beliefs

In the midst of a rash of lethal violence against Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan, the Lahore High Court Bar Association directed regional police officials to take legal action against Ahmadi Muslims gathering, observing and praying during Muslim Eid celebrations.

In directives on 6 June 2024, the lawyer’s association referred to laws that declare the Ahmadis to be Not-Muslims, used pejorative language (referring to Ahmadis as “Qadyanis”), and otherwise adopted positions that have been taken by numerous extremist Mullahs and Clerics that have incited violence in recent months. On 8 June 2024, two Ahmadi Muslims from Sad Ulla Pur were murdered following open threats by TLP Clerics.

Human Rights and Religious Freedom activists worry that directives from lawyers to persecute Ahmadis for peacefully practicing their faith will result in further violence.

“It is appalling that a Pakistani bar association should advocate, not for freedom of religion according to international legal norms, but rather for persecution of a peaceful religious minority,” according to Dr. Aaron Rhodes, president of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe.

“We are calling for bar associations around the world to urge their Pakistani colleagues to help reduce religious intolerance and violence,he said.

The United Nations and global human rights groups have long expressed serious concern over the poor treatment of Ahmadis in Pakistan which continues unabated.

In view of such hate-filled propaganda, there is a likelihood that Ahmadis would be deprived of fulfilling this fundamental practice associated with this event and many would have to face criminal prosecution just because of practicing their faith.

The Eid ul Adha Festival is going to be celebrated in Pakistan in the middle of June 2024 and, as the situation of Ahmadis living in Pakistan is precarious and Mullahs as well as police are trying to persecute them only because of performing their religious rituals, hence, once again we plead to the International Community to take urgent action to urge the Government of Pakistan to safeguard the civil and religious freedoms of Ahmadis and provide them with the safety and security in order to observe and practise their faith.

On July 13, 2021, UN human rights experts expressed their deep concern over the lack of attention to the serious human rights violations perpetrated against the Ahmadiyya community around the world and called on the international community to step up efforts in bringing an end to the ongoing persecution of Ahmadis.

We once again urge the international community to pressure the Government of Pakistan to honor its responsibility to provide protection to all its citizens, ensure freedom of religious practice to Ahmadis, and bring perpetrators of such vicious attacks to justice. The Government of Pakistan must also bring its laws and practices in conformity with international standards as ordained by Article 2, 18 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 25, 26.