Pakistan - letter writing action
At the last meeting we welcomed Peter Murray, Country Coordinator for Pakistan to talk about current issues and campaigns.
Peter has asked that we write to the Pakistan High Commissioner regarding the rights of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim community who frequently face persecution, including violence and criminal charges under Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws.
Laws in Pakistan make it an offence for members of the Ahmadiyya community to identify as Muslims, use religious descriptions or titles used by Muslims for religious places and figures, or preach or propagate their faith. This effectively deprives members of the religious community of their rights to religious belief and practice.
Please write to the Pakistan High Commissioner, a template letter is attached.
Please let us know (email RunnymedeAmnesty@hotmail.com) if you receive a response so we can pass these on to Peter.
H E Syed Ibne Abbas
High Commission of Pakistan
34-36 Lowndes Square
Dear High Commissioner
Re: Persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan
I am writing to express my concern at the treatment of Ahmadi citizens in Pakistan.
Last year, the Amnesty International UK AGM overwhelmingly passed a motion supporting the freedom of the Ahmadiyya to manifest their religion in teaching, practice, worship and observance, including:
* asserting the right of the Ahmadiyya, as guaranteed by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to practise their religion,
* urging the Government of Pakistan to remove the 1974 Second Amendment to the Constitution which defines the Ahmadis as “Non-Muslim” and to rescind Ordinance XX, passed in 1984, which effectively prohibited Ahmadis from preaching or professing their beliefs.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution (1974) and Ordnance XX (1984) lay Ahmadiyya open to criminal and capital charges for the practice of their religion, and there are many incidents where they are subjected to violence because of their religion.
An example of this discrimination was an attack by a mob on Ahmadis in Gujranwala in July 2014 which resulted in the death of two girls and their grandmother and left eight people injured, including one child. No action was taken by the authorities to prevent the attack nor to prosecute the attackers: further detail is providedin the Amnesty International report “As Good as Dead” https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa33/5136/2016/en/.
I would remind you that the Constitution of Pakistan states that “adequate provisions shall be made for minorities to profess and practise their religious beliefs freely”. I would therefore request that you urge your Government to remove the Second Amendment and to rescind Ordnance XX.