WASHINGTON, DC - Commissioner Johnnie Moore, of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), promised to make religious freedom in Pakistan a priority at this week’s gathering of nearly 37,000 Ahmadis at the 52nd Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United Kingdom.
The international community and the U.S. government must put unrelenting pressure on whoever wins Wednesday’s election to immediately stop the harassment of the country’s religious minorities.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) was deeply saddened to learn of the death on Sunday of Ms. Asma Jahangir, a leading human rights defender in Pakistan and a former United Nations expert on freedom of religion or belief. “Ms. Jahangir was an outspoken critic of the Pakistani government’s misuse of blasphemy laws, particularly targeting Ahmadis and Christians,” said USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark. “She did this despite great risk to her own personal safety. She will always be remembered as a fearless advocate for human rights both in Pakistan and around the globe.”
Key Fact: 80-year-old Ahmadi manager of a bookshop and optician store
Detained Since: December 2, 2015
Charges: Propagating the Ahmadiyya faith and stirring up “religious hatred” and “sectarianism”
Sentence: Three years in prison under the Penal Code for blasphemy and five years under the Anti-Terrorism Act on January 2, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns the raid by Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on the publications and audit offices of the Ahmadiyya community in Punjab province. During this raid, which took place on December 5, police beat and arrested several Ahmadis who later were charged under provisions in Pakistan’s penal code and Anti-Terrorism Act.