REPORTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCIES: G
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN
INTRO: THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN HAS RELEASED ITS ANNUAL REPORT ON RIGHTS ABUSES IN PAKISTAN. JENNIFER GRIFFIN IN ISLAMABAD REPORTS THE COMMISSION SAYS 1994 SAW THE CONTINUED ABUSE OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN PAKISTAN..
TEXT: THE HEAD OF PAKISTAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION SAYS RIGHTS ABUSES IN PAKISTAN CONTINUED UNABATED IN 1994, AND HE SAID MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT WERE SOME OF THE WORST OFFENDERS. THE COMMISSION HEAD, ASMA JAHANGIR, PRESENTED THE INDEPENDENT GROUP'S ANNUAL REPORT SATURDAY TO A PRESS CONFERENCE IN ISLAMABAD.
MS. JAHANGIR SAID POLITICAL POLARIZATION IN PAKISTAN HAD CAUSED THE GOVERNMENT TO TRY TO SQUASH OPPOSITION AND CRITICISM IN THE COUNTRY. PROMINENT OPPOSITION LEADERS WERE JAILED. FOUR JOURNALISTS WERE CHARGED FOR DEFAMING THE PROPHET UNDER THE CONTROVERSIAL BLASPHEMY LAW, FOR WHICH THE PUNISHMENT IS DEATH. AND SECTARIAN VIOLENCE RAGED WORSE THAN EVER IN CITIES SUCH AS KARACHI.
MS. JAHANGIR SAID THE GOVERNMENT HAD TRIED TO CURTAIL PRESS FREEDOM, AND SIDESTEP THE LEGISLATURE BY PROMULGATING A SERIES OF PRESIDENTIAL ORDINANCES, INCLUDING THE DEATH PENALTY FOR DRUG OFFENDERS.
THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT SAYS FUNDAMENTALISM FLOURISHED IN 1994, AND HOW WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND MINORITY RIGHTS WERE SYSTEMATICALLY IGNORED. IT SAYS THAT IN SOME RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS, CHILDREN WERE BOUND WITH CHAINS AGAINST THEIR WILL AND FORCED TO MEMORIZE THE KORAN.
MS. JAHANGIR CALLED SOME OF THE JUDGMENTS UPHELD BY PAKISTAN'S SUPREME COURT SCANDALOUS.
/// JAHANGIR ACT ///
"WE MAY SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME AN EXECUTION OF AMPUTATION OF FOOT AND HAND IN PAKISTAN."
/// END ACT ///
MS. JAHANGIR SAID RAPE OCCURED AT THE SAME RATE AS LAST YEAR -- ONCE EVERY THREE HOURS. BUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN INCREASED.
/// OPT ///
VICTOR GILL, A U-S CITIZEN BORN IN PAKISTAN, RETURNED FROM THE UNITED STATES TO PROSECUTE HIS SISTER'S IN-LAWS, WHO HE SAID BURNED HER TO DEATH WHEN SHE SAID SHE WANTED TO TAKE HER THREE YOUNG CHILDREN TO THE UNITED STATES. BUT HE SAYS THERE IS LITTLE RECOURSE FOR SOMEONE PROSECUTING A CASE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
/// OPT ///
THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ACCUSED THE GOVERNMENT OF DOING NOTHING TO REVIEW DISCRIMINATORY LAWS. MS. JAHANGIR SAID POLITICIANS WERE UNWILLING TO ACT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO LOSE THEIR MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT. SHE SAID, AS A RESULT, HUMAN RIGHTS HAS SUFFERED. (SIGNED)
Source: Voice of America
US STATE DEPARTMENT
Islamic religious zealots continued to discriminate against and persecute religious minorities, basing their activities in part on discriminatory legislation against those religious minorities. The Government proposed changes in the enforcement of the so-called blasphemy law to limit its abuse, but no changes were enacted and abuse continued. However, in November the Lahore High Court overturned the 1992 blasphemy conviction of a Christian, Gul Masih.
There are fewer than 10 known political prisoners. Several are serving sentences under the laws concerning the Ahmadi religious sect.
Minority groups fear that the Shari'a Law and its goal of "Islamizing" government and society may further restrict the freedom to practice their religion. Many reportedly live in terror because the religious legislation has encouraged an atmosphere of religious intolerance which has led to acts of violence directed at Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus, Zikris, and others. Several incidents in 1994 heightened the sense of insecurity and fear among the religious minorities.
A 1974 constitutional amendment declared Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority because they do not accept Muhammad as the last prophet of Islam. However, Ahmadis regard themselves as Muslims and observe many Islamic practices. In 1984 the Government inserted Section 298(c) into the Penal Code which prohibited an Ahmadi from calling himself a Muslim and banned Ahmadis from using Islamic terminology. The punishment is up to 3 years' imprisonment and a fine. Since 1984, the Government has used Section 298(c) to harass Ahmadis.
In 1993 the Supreme Court ruled against the Ahmadis in a case on the constitutionality of Section 298(c). The Court upheld that section of the law, rejecting the argument that it violated the right of freedom of speech and religion. The judge writing for the majority found that Islamic phrases are in essence a copyrighted trademark of the Islamic religion. He reasoned that the use of Islamic phrases by Ahmadis was equivalent to copyright infringement and violated the Trademark Act of 1940. The majority also found that the use of certain Islamic phrases by Ahmadis was equivalent to blasphemy.
The judgment has emboldened anti-Ahmadi groups and resulted in more court cases against Ahmadis. In 1994 the Government promised that it would defend Section 298(c) from an appeal on other grounds. In the first 9 months of 1994, 17 cases under Section 298(c) were filed against Ahmadis resulting in 1 conviction. Rashood Ahmad of Sangahr was sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined $166 for displaying a verse from the Koran on his wall.
In January the authorities arrested five journalists, including the septuagenarian editor of Al Fazal, the Ahmadi daily, under Section 298(c). The arrests were made because of general complaints that the writers in Al Fazal had propagated their faith and passed themselves off as Muslims, thus injuring the feelings of Muslims. The five were released on bail on March 7. At year's end, their case was pending in the courts.
In another incident, the Rawalpindi Development Authority demolished an Ahmadi center in Rawalpindi on September 15. The Government claimed that the land was illegally converted to a place of worship--despite the fact that the land had been used for worship for 40 years. On the building plans submitted to the city, the Ahmadi community did not describe the building on the land as a mosque, because that would have violated Section 298(c). In other incidents, several prominent Ahmadis, including a university professor, were killed during the year in what some regard as sectarian murders. Investigations of the cases are continuing.
The Government classifies Ahmadis as "non-Muslims" on their passports. This has led the authorities in Saudi Arabia to prevent Ahmadis from performing the religious pilgrimage to Mecca. In 1992 the Government ordered national identity cards to convey the bearer's religion, but so far the Government has not submitted implementing legislation.
In 1986 the Government inserted Section 295(c) into the Penal Code which stipulates the death penalty for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad. This provision has been used by litigants against Ahmadis, Christians, and even Muslims. In 1992 the Senate unanimously adopted a bill to amend the Blasphemy Law so that the death penalty is mandatory upon conviction.
According to Ahmadi sources, 5 blasphemy cases, involving 15 persons, were registered against Ahmadis in the first 9 months of 1994. Since 1986 over 100 blasphemy cases have been registered against Ahmadis with no convictions. In the same period, at least nine blasphemy cases have been brought against Christians and seven against Muslims.
When such religious cases are brought to court, extremists often pack the courtroom and make public threats against an acquittal. As a result, judges and magistrates often continue trials indefinitely, and the accused is burdened with further legal costs and repeated court appearances.
The security of religious minorities was a major issue of discussion in the Government and the press in 1994. The Government promised to introduce measures to reduce the abusive litigation under the blasphemy laws, but defended the laws themselves. At year's end, the Government had not taken any remedial action.
Members of minority religious groups may not vote in Muslim constituencies. They cast their ballots for candidates running for special at-large seats reserved for them in the national and provincial assemblies. Most Ahmadis, disputing their designation as non-Muslims, have refused to vote for such representatives.
Human rights monitors and women's groups fear that the Shari'a Law would have a harmful effect on the rights of women and minorities. However, the Law states that women's and minority rights protected under the Constitution would not be affected. The Law's impact on these groups has been limited because the Government has not passed enabling legislation. Nonetheless, the Law reinforces popular attitudes and perceptions, and contributes to an atmosphere in which discriminatory treatment of women and non-Muslims is more readily accepted.
In addition to the violence and harassment noted in previous sections of this report, religious minority groups experience much discrimination in employment and education; Pakistani laws facilitate discrimination in employment based on religion. In Pakistan's early years, minorities were able to rise to the senior ranks of the military and civil service. Today, many are unable to rise above midlevel ranks. Because of the lack of educational opportunities for some religious minority groups, discrimination in employment is believed to be increasingly prevalent. Christians, in particular, have difficulty finding jobs above those of menial labor. Ahmadis find that they are prevented from entering management levels in government service. Even the rumor that someone may be an Ahmadi or have Ahmadi relatives can stifle opportunities for employment or promotion.
Officially designated as non-Muslims, Ahmadis in particular, suffer from harassment and discrimination and have limited chances for advancement in the public sector. Young Ahmadis and their parents complain of increasing difficulty in gaining admittance to good colleges, forcing many children to go overseas for higher education. Among religious minorities, there is a well-founded belief that the authorities afford them less legal protection than they afford Muslim citizens.
US State Department Annual Report on human rights in Pakistan in 1994
LCHR Critique of State Dept Report
It also gives a generally accurate account of human rights problems in Pakistan ... However, it makes little mention of the government's failure to address the problem of widespread human rights abuses, beyond noting the complicity of the government in the sectarian violence that has plagued the country, marked by a routine failure to denounce, prosecute or punish those involved. Instead, the report states that while the government made a strong public commitment to address human rights concerns, "most human rights abuses are rooted deeply in the social fabric." This remark appears excessively indulgent of culturally relative views of human rights abuses, rather than taking a forthright position on the universality of human rights norms.
Three appeals were submitted to the government by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in 1994. The Special Rapporteur expressed fear for the life and physical integrity of Bashir Qureshi, whose health was reportedly in jeopardy after his arrest and torture by members of the military in January. The Special Rapporteur also expressed concern over the alleged killings in March of Rana Riaz Ahmad and Ahmad Nasrullah by members of an armed Islamic group, and the failure of the police to provide protection to the Ahmadiyya community or adequately investigate the attacks.
The report's discussion of the Blasphemy Law (Section 295-C of the Penal Code) is detailed and comprehensive. It does not, however, mention the government's decision in June to modify the procedure for reporting cases that may fall under the jurisdiction of this law. The government decided that cases should not be registered automatically on complaint, but only after the complaint had been examined by a magistrate and some basis for it established. In order to deter the filing of frivolous or malicious complaints, the individual making the accusation should be liable to a fine in the event that the complaint proves to be without foundation. Conservative religious groups declared that they would accept no changes to the law, and after an episode in which the law minister's comments to an Irish newspaper were misrepresented to suggest that the Blasphemy Law would be repealed altogether, the government backed down in the face of pressure and the law remained unchanged. Amid the controversy, militant religious groups called upon "those who love Islam" to kill Asma Jahangir, general secretary of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. These demands for her death arose as a result of her position as defense lawyer for Rehmat and Salamat Masih, two Christians charged with blasphemy.
Mian Iqbal Ahmed, Amir of the Rajanpur branch of the Ahmadi community, was arrested for preaching his faith and charged under Section 295-C of the Penal Code. He remained in prison at the end of 1994. The charge of blasphemy, as the report says, carries the death penalty. Mohammad Hussain Ghazanfar, also of Rajanpur, was arrested under Section 298-C of the Penal Code for preaching his faith and reportedly subjected to torture to induce a "confession." He also remains in prison. In Karachi, an Ahmadi place of worship was the target of sniper fire, resulting in the wounding of one worshipper. Ahmadis were also barred from public celebration of their centenary in March. Two Ahmadis, Abdul Hafeez and Waseem Ahmad, were killed and another two, Mohammad Ameen and Akhtar, seriously injured during an armed attack organized by neighbors in Faisalabad on August 30. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Pressure against Ahmadi publications and journalists increased considerably in 1994. The report mentions the case in early 1994 of Noor Muhammad Saifi, Agha Saifullah, Qazi Munir Ahmed, Mirza Muhammad Din Naz and Mohammad Ibrahim, five journalists connected with the daily Al Fazal, who were arrested under Section 298-C for "misrepresenting" themselves as Muslims and propagating Ahmadi beliefs in their articles. It does not say, however, that the charge of blasphemy was later added for having "injured the religious feelings of Muslims," or that the judge in the case at first refused to grant bail. The five were later released on bail on March 7 but the charges, which could carry the death penalty, remained pending, with no trial date set by the end of the year.
In summary, while the 1994 State Department report is generally comprehensive, it could have taken a more forthright position on issues such as bonded labor, the use of the blasphemy laws, this year's widesread urban violence in Karachi and the failure of police to protect minorities. It could also have paid greater attention to the government's aggressive promotion of foreign investment at the expense of worker rights.
Critique of State Department 1994 Report
AI: PAKISTAN: ANOTHER AHMADI DELIBERATELY KILLED BY ISLAMISTS
This News Service is posted by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
International, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 8DJ (Tel +44-71-413-5500, Fax
AI INDEX: ASA 33/10/95
PAKISTAN: ANOTHER AHMADI DELIBERATELY KILLED BY ISLAMISTS
A violent mob attacked two members of the Ahmadiyya community in Shab Qadar, prompting Amnesty International to renew calls on the government of Pakistan to condemn such attacks and take immediate measures to prevent them.
On 9 April 1995, Dr Rashid Ahmad and his son-in law, Riaz Khan, were attacked as they were about to attend a court hearing in Shab Qadar in the North West Frontier Province; Riaz Khan was stoned to death and his dead body stripped and dragged through the town on a rope. Dr Rashid Ahmad was taken to a hospital in Peshawar with serious injuries. A third Ahmadi, Advocate Bashir Ahmad, escaped unhurt.
The tree men -- senior members of the Ahmadiyya community from Peshawar -- had come from the provincial capital to help another Ahmadi, Daulat Khan, who had been harassed following his conversion to the sect several months ago; local Muslin clergy reportedly called for the death of the convert.
Daulat Khan was arrested on 5 April; when members of the Ahmadiyya community approached the police they were told that he had been arrested "for his own safety." Later police registered a case against him under sections 107 (abetment) and 151 (disturbing public tranquillity by joining an unlawful assembly) of the Pakistan Penal code.
The tree men attacked had gone to Shab Qadar in order to file a bail application on Daulat Khan's behalf; when they entered the court premises, a violent mob attacked the three men with sticks and stones. To Amnesty International's knowledge, no one has been criminally charged for the killing and Daulat Khan is still in custody.
During the past year, at least seven Ahmadis have been attacked and killed with impunity by religious extremists. Though most of these deliberate and arbitrary killings have taken place in broad daylight and before many eye-witnesses, in none of the cases reported to Amnesty International have those responsible for the killings been arrested and charged.
Amnesty International believes that the failure to criminally prosecute those responsible for attacks on members of religious minorities appears to indicate the acquiescence or connivance of the authorities with the perpetrators.
"We once again urge the government of Pakistan to unequivocally and publicly condemn such attacks and to take all possible measures to protect the lives and security of members of Pakistan's religious minorities who appear to be at risk," said Amnesty International.
If you want more information concerning this item then please contact the Amnesty International section office in your own country. You may also send email to email@example.com, an automatic reply service. A list of section contact details is posted on the APC conference. If there is not a section of Amnesty International in your country then you should contact the International Secretariat in London. END
Taken from the newsgroup misc.activism.progressive on 19 April 1995
Amnesty International majority charged with blasphemy belong to the Ahmadiyya Community
"The abuse of Pakistan's blasphemy laws is another major human rights concern. The majority of those charged with blasphemy belong to the Ahmadiyya Community but Christians are increasingly accused of blasphemy..."
"While the present government states the importance of respecting human rights, it has taken little action to implement its position. The government announced procedural changes intended to curb the abuse of blasphemy laws, but little concrete legislative measures have been taken".
Human Rights and US Security Assistance
INTRO: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS ISSUED ITS ANNUAL REPORT ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS IN 151 COUNTRIES DURING 1994. THE REPORT NOTES ABUSES IN ALL REGIONS OF THE WORLD. MANY CASES ARE NEVER INVESTIGATED AND RARELY ARE THE GUILTY BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. FROM WASHINGTON, VOA'S DAUD MAJLIS LOOKS AT THE SOUTH ASIAN ASPECT OF THE REPORT.
TEXT: PRESENTING THE REPORT PIERRE SANE, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE LONDON-BASED ORGANIZATION, SAID AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL IS TRYING TO CREATE A CLIMATE WHERE THE PERPETRATORS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES WILL BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE AND THE VICTIMS WILL BE GIVEN BACK THEIR DIGNITY.
IN AN INTERVIEW WITH V-O-A, MR. CASEY KELSO, A SPOKESPERSON FOR AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL TALKED ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS IN THREE SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES -- PAKISTAN, INDIA AND BANGLADESH.
ACCORDING TO THE REPORT MORE THAN 100 PRISONERS IN PAKISTAN HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH BLASPHEMY. THE PRISONERS CONTEND THEY WERE EXERCISING THEIR RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION. MR. KELSO SAID AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WAS PARTICULARLY CONCERNED THAT BLASPHEMY LAWS WERE BEING ABUSED IN PAKISTAN. HE SAID THESE LAWS IN PAKISTAN ARE USED TO TARGET THE AHMEDIA COMMUNITY IN PARTICULAR.
// KELSO ACTUALITY //
WHILE THERE ARE NO EVIDENCE TO PUT CHARGES AGAINST THE AHMEDIA MEMBERS, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN PUT ON TRIAL AND HAVE BEEN THREATENED WITH DEATH BY ISLAMIST MILITANTS WHO EITHER DISRUPT THE COURT TRIAL OR WHO HAVE TAKEN, ON CERTAIN OCCASIONS IN 1994, STEPS TO BEAT OR EVEN KILL THOSE WHO WERE ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY.
// END ACTUALITY //
THE AMNESTY SPOKESPERSON SAID THE GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN HAS ANNOUNCED INTENTIONS TO CURB THE ABUSE OF BLASPHEMY LAWS BUT NO ACTION HAS SO FAR BEEN TAKEN TO RESTRICT FALSE ACCUSERS.
ACCORDING TO AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AT LEAST 35 EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS WERE REPORTED IN PAKISTAN DURING 1994.
THE AMNESTY REPORT SAYS CIVIL CONFLICT HAS BEEN THE CONTEXT FOR HUNDREDS OF POLITICAL KILLINGS AND SCORES OF DISAPPEARANCES IN INDIA. IN THE 1994 REPORT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FOCUSED ON THE STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR.
// KELSO ACTUALITY //
IN THE STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR WE HAD ALMOST DAILY REPORTS OF SHOOTINGS OR PEOPLE BEING TORTURED. THERE AGAIN WE HAVE 350 POLITICAL PRISONERS --MANY OF THEM POLITICAL PRISONERS -- THAT WERE HELD IN PRISONS. THERE WERE POLITICAL DETAINEES AND CRIMINAL SUSPECTS WHO WERE TORTURED IN A ROUTINE MANNER.
// END ACTUALITY //
MR. KELSO EMPHASIZED THAT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS APPEALED NOT ONLY TO THE GOVERNMENTS BUT ALSO TO THE ARMED OPPOSITION GROUPS BOTH IN PAKISTAN AND IN INDIA TO STOP HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES. HE SAID IN JUNE AMNESTY MADE AN APPEAL TO OPPOSITION GROUPS TO RELEASE ALL HOSTAGES HELD IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR.
THE AMNESTY REPORT EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT TORTURE AND MISTREATMENT OF DETAINEES THROUGHOUT INDIA. LEGAL REFORMS WERE PROMISED BUT WERE NOT IMPLEMENTED TO SAFEGUARD THOSE DETAINEES. MR. KELSO POINTED OUT THAT THE TERRORIST AND DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT (TADA) HAS REMAINED IN FORCE EVEN THOUGH THERE IS A PUBLIC FEELING THAT THE ANTI-TERRORIST LEGISLATION SHOULD BE REVIEWED AND PERHAPS REPEALED.
// KELSO ACTUALITY //
MINIMUM LEGAL SAFEGUARDS SHOULD BE APPLIED FOR THOSE WHO ARE BEING TRIED UNDER T-A-D-A YET THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL SECURITY EVEN THOUGH IT ADMITS THAT T-A-D-A HAS BEEN MISUSED EXTENSIVELY AGAINST MOSLEMS STILL HAS NOT TAKEN THOSE STEPS TO ESTABLISH SOME SORT OF SAFEGUARDS.
// END ACTUALITY //
IN BANGLADESH, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS BEEN SPECIALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE. MR. KELSO SAID JUST AS ANTI-TERRORIST LAWS HAVE BEEN ABUSED IN INDIA, IN BANGLADESH THE SPECIAL POWERS ACT HAS BEEN USED TO IMPRISON DOZENS OF PEOPLE ON CRIMINAL CHARGES SIMPLY FOR EXPRESSING THEIR POLITICAL BELIEFS.
// KELSO ACTUALITY //
WE HAVE POLITICAL PRISONERS WHO HAVE BEEN TRIED UNDER ANTI-TERRORIST LEGISLATION. WE BELIEVE THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED A FAIR TRIAL. AND AGAIN TORTURE IN POLICE STATIONS AND JAILS HAVE CONTINUED. ONE OF THE THEMES IN BANGLADESH, AS WELL AS IN PAKISTAN, WAS THE UPSURGE OF ISLAMIST FUNDAMENTALISM OR ISLAMIST FEELINGS THAT DID NOT GUARANTEE PEOPLE WHO ARE ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY OF A FAIR TRIAL.
// END ACTUALITY //
MR. KELSO SAID ONE OF THE CONCERNS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS ALL OVER THE WORLD IS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET A FAIR TRIAL REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER CRIMES THEY ARE ACCUSED OF. (SIGNED)
06-Jul-95 9:17 AM EDT (1317 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
Amnesty International Annual Report Summaries 1995 more than 100 prisoners of conscience were charged with blasphemy
In Pakistan, more than 100 prisoners of conscience were charged with blasphemy for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of religion, including a man arrested for allegedly inviting others to watch a television program featuring the exiled head of the Ahmadiyya community. Although there appeared to be no evidence to support the charges, the man's trial began in September. Despite government announcements of reforms to curb the abuse of the blasphemy laws, which carry a mandatory death penalty, no action was taken.
Amnesty International Annual Report Summaries 1995
Amnesty International stoned to death
In April, a member of the Ahmadi sect who had gone to provide bail for another man imprisoned for conversion was stoned to death in the court premises. Police did nothing to assist him.
Amnesty International Annual Report 1995 Updates
... Persecution and intimidation of minority sects and religions appears to be increasing with active or tacit approval of public authorities. Such developments are disturbing indeed, but they become alarming when they are validated by the superior judiciary. Pakistan's constitution, which enumerates guaranteed fundamental rights and provides for separation of state power, ensures judicial protection of vulnerable sections of the society against unlawful state action. Unfortunately, Pakistan's superior judiciary has seen fit to abdicate this role completely when it comes to the protection of religious minorities. ...
... pronouncement of the Supreme Court in Dard Case. ... the pronouncement is an impermissible variance of foundational constitutional jurisprudence of the country, the implied covenant of fredom of religion between religious minorities and Pakistan movement, and the dictates of international human rights law.
... The bulk of this opinion is devoted to establishing that Ahmadis are not Muslims because their theological doctrines are at variance with beliefs of the majority of Muslims, disregarding the appellants' plea that this issue was not before the court and that protection of Article 20 is afforded to the Ahmadis irrespective of classification of their religious beliefs. The court argued that in prohibiting the use of distinguishing characteristics of Islam by the Ahmadis, the ordinance was in line with statutes that regulate commercial activity, target deceptive trade practices, and protect trade marks ...
The polemical tone of the judgment and repeated use of rhetorical questions by the court is remarkable. For example, the court asked: "Can then anyone blame a Muslim if he loses control on hearing, reading, or seeing such blasphemous material as has been produced by Mirza Sahib?" The ordinance was upheld on the grounds that "if an Ahmadi is allowed by the administration or the law to display or chant in public, the Shar'i Islam, it is like creating a Rushdi' [sic] out of him. Can the administration in that case guarantee his life, liberty and property, and if so at what cost?"
The Dard Case rests on some rather spurious assumptions and propositions, some express and others implied ...
Dr. Karen Parker (affadavit)
... Respondent must be granted asylum from Pakistan because of per se persecution against Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. In addition, events in Pakistan certainly give Respondent a well-founded fear of persecution. Finally, the existence of torture, other serious human rights violations, and serious social unrest in Pakistan along with numerous attacks against Ahmadi Muslims invokes the principle of non-refoulement as it exists in human rights law....
20. In my opinion widespread and insidious persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan continues unabated in spite of the intentions of the Bhutto administration to end it. In addition, there is indisputable finding of torture and other severe mistreatment of prisoners, including persons held under the anti-Ahmadi laws, in Pakistan.
... As can be seen by the language of the Ordinance it constitutes per se persecution. This Ordinance continues to be in force and is enforced in Pakistan today.
22. General Zia-ul-Haq generated a climate of intense hostility towards Ahmadi Muslims that also continues today. ... General Zia singled out Ahmadis in an open and vicious hate campaign of persecution. He and members of his administration made numerous public speeches urging Pakistanis to seek out, expose and even to kill Ahmadis. One such speech was broadcast on television when I was in Pakistan: in that broadcast one of Zia's Ministers urged Pakistanis that it was their sacred duty to eliminate Ahmadis. On May 5, 1986, I had a meeting with General Zia at which he declared "Ahmadis are heretics and they offend me. I have a sacred duty to Allah to rid Pakistan of these impostors. I intend to drive them out." At the same meeting, in discussion the United Nations Sub-Commission resolution 1985/21, General Zia told me "Ordinance XX may violate human rights but I don't care."
23. General Zia compounded the problem ... by incorporating Ordinance XX into the Pakistan Constitution by way of the Constitution (8th Amendment) Act of November 11, 1985. Other ordinances, including blasphemy laws, were also then enacted compounding the difficulties for Ahmadis by adding the death sentence (men) or life imprisonment (women) to the sentences proscribed under Ordinance XX. General Zia-ul-Haq's frequent public declarations that Ahmadi religious practices are per se blasphemous have been publicly and repeatedly echoed by the judicial system, by police, by many non-Ahmadi Muslim clerics, and by the community at large.
24. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto told me in a meeting before she was elected that she recognized the persecution and violation of human rights inherent in Ordinance XX and that when she became Prime Minister she would seek to end official persecution as well as to quiet the rampant private persecution led by powerful and very vocal mullahs of other Islamic sects. Shortly after she became Prime Minister she named Ahmadis to some government posts and began to try to annul the Constitution (8th Amendment) Act. The conservative mullahs retaliated by initiating the Rushdie affair. (Contrary to the understanding of many Americans, the Rushdie affair did not begin in Iran but rather Pakistan). These conservative mullahs used the Rushdie affair to foment increased anti-Ahmadi/anti-blasphemy fervor and to force Ms. Bhutto and others bent on reform to back away. Ms. Bhutto subsequently was driven from power after about 18 months in office.
25. When Ms. Bhutto regained her office several years later, she proceeded more cautiously on the Ahmadi issue and related issues of religious persecution. She has still been unable to muster sufficient power to rescind the Zia ordinances, as I have verified in recent conversations (August and October 1995) with members of the Pakistan legislature. Mr. Justice Patel told me at the 1990 session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, where he represented Pakistan, that he refused to defend Pakistan on the Ahmadi issue. He said: "all the world can see the rampant persecution and it does neither me nor the government any good to pretend what is so is not."
26. Events in the past few years in Pakistan verify that rampant persecution and official incitement of persecution continues today, even by the judiciary. The Ahmadi community in Pakistan has diligently and eloquently sought to use legal recourse to nullify Ordinance XX. However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in a shocking decision July 3, 1993, upheld its constitutionality... Because of this case, Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan have no legal recourse to the persecution against them. The Ahmadi Case is especially revealing of the serious threat to the lives and safety of Ahmadis in Pakistan. For example, the justices ask: "Can anyone blame a Muslim if he loses control of himself on hearing, reading or seeing such blasphemous material as has been produced by Mirza Sahib." The Ahmadi Case, Slip op. at para. 84. The justices then liken Ahmadis to Rushdie and remind us all that of course Muslims must be infuriated by any Ahmadi show of their faith and that there will be "serious cause for disturbance of the public peace, order, tranquility and it may result in loss of life or property." Id. at para. 85 (emphasis added).
27. Since the Ahmadi Case, brutal murders and other acts of violence against Ahmadis in all walks of life have escalated. My information concurs with that of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance, who reports in his 1995 report to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights that "persecution of the Ahmadi community has reportedly increased considerably." Abdelfattah Amor, Report [of the] Special Rapporteur, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1995/91 at p. 67. He indicates that the Ahmadi community in Lahore was attacked 13 times in a three month period, with two deaths and 10 serious injuries. Id. He also reports on the fact that Ahmadis are often beaten and handed over to police. Id.
28. One murder victim of the Lahore attacks, the son of the leading Ahmadi Amir in the Punjab, was personally known to me. I had met him on visits with his father and mother during my visit to Pakistan. I sent a personal note to Prime Minister Bhutto regarding that incident and other issues and she sent me personal reply.
29. Mr. Amor also reports that a personal friend and fellow human rights lawyer Ms. Asma Jahangir, Chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and legal defender of Ahmadis, has been targeted with a fatwa (death order) under the blasphemy laws. Id., at p. 66. Other lawyers who defend Ahmadis are at serious risk. Local police often lead the way, as from their point of view Ordinance XX should be enforced rigorously. And because Ahmadis are considered heretic, they have the added burden of the equally draconian blasphemy laws. Anti-Ahmadi mullahs are increasing vocal in their calls to Pakistanis to enforce the death penalties against Ahmadis. Former diplomat Aftab Ahmad Khan, who I know personally and who is a leader of the Ahmadi community in England, maintains that the police and judges are themselves afraid because the power of these mullahs with the people is so strong. Poster campaigns against Ahmadis have sprung up in a number of places, calling for a jihad to the death against Ahmadis.
... it is uncontested that an Ahmadi was beaten and stoned to death outside the courthouse in Peshawar having tried to bring bail for another Ahmadi held in jail there under anti-Ahmadi laws. Two other Ahmadis with him were seriously injured and are in hiding seeking asylum. The Ahmadi who had been arrested apparently has now been moved to a "safer" jail. When he was arrested, the local anti-Ahmadi mullahs had driven a truck through the area denouncing him. There were also posters calling him an infidel and a person who must be killed. There have been dozens of other recent killings of Ahmadis, reported by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (with which I maintain communication) and a number of other human rights organizations including my own.
31. In the past few years more than 2500 Ahmadis have been arrested under Ordinance XX and a number of these defendants have had blasphemy charges added. Recent media attention has been given to the case of 14 year old Salamat Masih, a Christian condemned to death under the blasphemy laws. Master Masih was acquitted on appeal, in part because of international pressure. Similar pressure has not been brought by the international community regarding the hundreds of Ahmadis facing severe penalties as well as the dramatic upsurge in orchestrated acts of murder and violence committed against them.
32. Non-refoulement is a principle of international law which requires holding states to refrain from involuntary repatriation or return of any person to a State where that persons internationally protected rights would be at risk. From the point of view of the person facing return, non-refoulement is a right.
... While I believe that Respondent may clearly invoke his right to non-refoulement because of persecution, I believe he may also invoke it because of persistent human rights violations in Pakistan. Accordingly, I set out the law of non-refoulement in the human rights context.
40. Pakistan is a country with widespread unrest and disturbances and a pattern of custodial deaths. The most recent report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on summary execution indicates a number of custodial deaths as well as attacks by others on Ahmadi Muslims and others that are uninvestigated. He says: "The police reportedly failed to provide protection to the members of the [Ahmadi] community or adequately investigate the attacks and, allegedly refused to register complaints by the victim's families and witnesses to the attacks." Bacre Waly Ndiaye, Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1995/61 at p. 78.
42. Pakistan is a country with a pattern of torture which is directed, in part, against Ahmadi Muslims. The most recent report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture sets out a number of incidents of torture, including cases involving members of Prime Minister Bhutto's party held by officials in areas where her party was not in control at the time. Nigel Rodley, Report [on Torture], U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1995/34. Other members of prominent political families have been detained and were tortured and/or killed in custody. While the incidents of torture ebb and flow with various figures' political clout, incidents involving Ahmadis continue steadily. Bar fetters continue to be used in Pakistani jails and lashes and other punishments are routine.
43. In conclusion, it is my opinion that Respondent in this proceeding must be granted asylum from Pakistan due to per se persecution of him because he is an Ahmadi Muslim. It is also my opinion that he has a well-founded fear of persecution in Pakistan because he is an Ahmadi Muslim. He also has the right to non-refoulement in both refugee law and human rights law due to a high likelihood of persecution and because Pakistan is a country with a persistent pattern of human rights violations, including arbitrary execution, arbitrary detention and torture. It is my opinion that these applications of non-refoulement are norms of jus cogens. It is my opinion that these applications of jus cogens are binding all tribunals in the United States.
affadavit of November 1995