Amnesty asks govt to protect Ahmadiyyas
Amnesty International (AI) has urged the government to take immediate action to protect the Ahmadiyya community of Dhanikhola in Trishal upazila under Mymensing district.
The AI concern followed International Khatme Nabuwat Movement’s recent announcement to organise a rally to place a signboard at Ahmadiyya mosque in Dhanikhola on February 10 that came as “the latest in a series of attempts by Islamist groups to prevent the Ahmadiyyas from openly practising their beliefs”.
The international rights watchdog has called on the government to ensure protection of all Ahmadiyyas of Bangladesh with the help of police and local authorities.
It has also asked the government to declare that no member of any group has the right to intimidate or persecute any members of the Ahmadiyya community, and to bring those responsible for such incidents to justice.
Expressing apprehension of a violent attack on the Ahmadiyyas, Amnesty International sent letters to the prime minister, law minister and state minister for home affairs on Tuesday, urging necessary steps to protect the members of the minority community.
The AI letter also urged the government to take strict measures to curb the use of hate speech and public rallies to incite violence against Ahmadiyyas and publicly denounce this threat as well as previous threats and attacks against the community.
Ahmadiyya leaders on February 3 reportedly called on local police authorities with request to prevent February 10 anti-Ahmadiyya rally within 10km radius of the Dhanikhola mosque and received assurances from the police superintendent of Mymensing in this regard, it said.
But there has been no official confirmation of such assurances while a Khatme Nabuwat leader has reportedly threatened of violence if their rally is halted, the letter said, adding that the threat is part of an ongoing campaign of threats, intimidation and hate speech by Islamist groups to pressure the government into declaring the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslims by law.
“By targeting the Ahmadiyya community, Islamist groups are believed to be attempting to force the government to yield to their political demand for the introduction of more stringent Islamic law in Bangladesh,” the letter said.