Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Home Amnesty International Report on Pakistan for 1998
Amnesty International

Excerpts from Amnesty International
Annual Report for the year 1998


Hundreds of political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, were detained without charge or trial; others received unfair trials. Torture and ill-treatment continued to be widespread, leading to some 35 deaths in custody. At least two people were flogged. At least 50 possible extrajudicial executions were reported. At least 88 people were sentenced to death and at least six were executed. Armed opposition groups were responsible for deliberate and arbitrary killings of civilians.

At least 32 members of the Ahmadiyya community were charged with religious offences during the year, including two who were charged with blasphemy under section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code which carries a mandatory death sentence. They were prisoners of conscience.

Riaz Ahmed Chowdhury and his three relatives from Mianwali in Punjab province (see Amnesty International Report 1997), who were detained in November 1993 and charged with blasphemy, continued to be held without trial. Their bail application had been pending in the Supreme Court since 1994.

In September a 16-year-old Ahmadi boy from Sanghar district, Sindh province, was charged with blasphemy for reciting Muslim words of belief. He was also charged with possessing a gun, and consequently his case was to be tried by a special anti-terrorist court. He went into hiding before he could be arrested.

Published with permission from Angelika Pathak, Researcher, South Asia team, Amnesty Int'l.

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