June 11th, 2024
Incident Report, PakistanJune 11th, 2024

Pakistan: Police to Detain Ahmadi Leaders to Prevent Religious Observances

On June 10, 2024, the Deputy Police Commissioner of Chakwal has issued orders to detain three Ahmadi Muslim leaders in order to prevent religious observances, which the officials claim are “unlawful activities” that threaten “public order.”

They include President of Ahmadiyya Community District Chakwal Malik Naveed Ahmad, former President of Ahmadiyya Community District Chakwal Malik Riaz Ahmad and Secretary General Affairs Malik Tahir Ahmad.

The orders follow a meeting in which they were forbidden to perform Qurbani, a Muslim rite. At that meeting, the Ahmadi leaders clarified that nothing in the law prevents Ahmadis from performing the rite, citing the recent Judgement of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the case of Tahir Naqash etc vs The State, which clearly stated that Ahmadis have the right to practice their faith within the confinement of four walls.

“The detention order is unlawful based on both Pakistani and international law,” according to the International Human Rights Committee (IHRC).

The IHRC urgently appeals to the highest Pakistani and international authorities to take measures to protect the fundamental religious freedom of the Ahmadi community.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 18, Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

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 actions, 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.