Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Home Amnesty International Report on Pakistan for 2000
Amnesty International

Excerpts from Amnesty International
Annual Report for the year 2000


Religious minorities

The state failed to provide religious minorities with adequate protection. Religiously motivated killings peaked in September when, in one week alone, some 35 people, mostly Shi’a men, women and children, were arbitrarily killed. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed that the perpetrators had received training in Afghanistan and called on the Taleban to close down such training camps in Afghanistan. Shi'a leaders in Karachi were advised to hire private security guards; some police guards were provided for places of worship.

At least 54 Ahmadis were charged under the blasphemy laws; eight of them were charged under a section of the law which carries a mandatory death sentence. In many cases, judicial officers added criminal charges to complaints, after which the cases were tried in anti-terrorism courts which did not provide fair trials. The procedures of such courts, especially the rigid time frame, make a fair trial difficult if not impossible. There is also no bail available for people to be tried by such courts.
Ghulam Mustafa, who was arrested in December 1998 for preaching his faith and subsequently had additional charges added to the complaint against him, was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment in March. His case was concluded within a week by an anti-terrorism court.

At the end of the year 30 Ahmadis were prisoners of conscience held solely on account of their conscientiously held beliefs.
Nazeer Ahmad Baluch was 15 years old when he was arrested in September 1998 in village Chak 4 near Naukot, Mirpurkhas district, Sindh province. He and other Ahmadis had been pulling down a mosque owned by the Ahmadi community in order to rebuild it. Orthodox Muslims passing the mosque, however, alleged that it belonged to their community and that the Ahmadis were injuring their feelings as Muslims by desecrating the mosque and a Qur'an allegedly lying inside it. This incident led to further attacks on Ahmadi mosques in a nearby town and the arrest of 14 other Ahmadis on similar charges. Nazeer Ahmad Baluch was held throughout the year in Hyderabad Central Jail. An appeal against his trial by an anti-terrorism court was still pending before the Supreme Court of Pakistan at the end of the year.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This report is an extract from the Amnesty International Report ISBN: 0 86210 290 1 AI index: POL 10/001/00 and is © Copyright Amnesty International Publications 2001. You may not alter this information, repost or sell it without the permission of Amnesty International. The complete edition of the Report, covering more than 140 countries and territories, is published in several languages. If there is an AI section in your country, please order your publications through them Otherwise you may order a copy here.

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

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