PAKISTAN: The Prime Minister must intervene for the release of a British/Pakistan national who was arrested on charges of Blasphemy
Posted on January 20th, 2014

URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Dr. Masood Ahmad (72), is a member of the minority Ahmadi sect, who is declared non-Muslim under the terms of the country’s constitution and subject to widespread discrimination, violence and abuse. Dr Ahmad was arrested from Lahore, Punjab province, on 15 December, 2013, after two persons from a Muslim fundamentalist group secretly filmed him reading a translation of a verse from the Quran. The accusers posed as patients at a clinic run by Dr Ahmad and after receiving medication stayed to ask religious questions. They questioned him about his faith and used mobile phones to secretly record him reading a verse from the Quran.

Dr. Ahmad returned to Pakistan in 1982 to open a pharmacy after working in London. His family members fear the country’s strict blasphemy laws are being used to persecute the widower and strip him of his pharmacy. The Muslim fundamentalists are exerting pressure on the provincial government and judges to convict anyone accused of blasphemy. Dr Ahmad was arrested when a mob, including local clerics, gathered outside a police station demanding that the doctor face charges.

The lawyers have filed three different bail applications and on the one bail application the fundamentalists occupied the court premises and shouted slogans and threatened the doctor’s lawyers and the judge. On the hearing of two bail applications the lawyers of the victim were absent. Doctor Ahmad is in the prison and there are chances that he would be killed in custody as the religious groups are inciting the prisoners to deal with the Ahmadi to change his religion or kill him. They believe that Ahmadis do not have any place in Islam.

Religious hardliners claim there is a place in heaven waiting for anyone who murders a member of the sect.

His clinic has been illegally occupied by a Muslim leader who incited the community to punish an Ahmadi person so as to obtain possession of his property.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Last year in April, a 25-year-old hospital clerk and his father were at home in Lahore reading an Ahmadi newspaper when a crowd of mullahs broke down their door, the clerk said. They beat the two while a crowd looted their home. Then a gunman forced the pair into a car without license plates. Their kidnappers went free but the two were eventually charged with impersonating Muslims in special anti-terrorist courts designed to combat the Taliban.

The clerk was released after a month, but his father, who has not yet been convicted, has been in prison for nine months. The family has since fled their home and the man now occupying it is refusing to pay them for it.

Reuters reports that Ahmadis are also targets outside Pakistan. In Indonesia, a gruesome YouTube video recorded a mass lynching in 2011 as police looked on. Ahmadi publications are banned in Bangladesh, where a festival site was torched earlier this year. In Britain, Ahmadi buildings have been vandalised and leaflets have appeared forbidding them to enter shops and urging Muslims to kill them, British media have reported.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the following authorities calling for them to immediately release the British Pakistani citizen who is languishing in a Pakistani jail since December on false charges of Blasphemy for reciting the holy book of the Quran. Please urge them to take action according to the law against the Muslim leaders who falsely registered a case of blasphemy and immediately hand over the clinic of Dr. Ahmad from the grabbers.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

PAKISTAN: The Prime Minister must intervene for the release of a British/Pakistan national who was arrested on charges of Blasphemy

Name of victim: Dr. Masood Ahmad, (72), resident of Lahore, Punjab province

Names of alleged perpetrators: Khatm-e-Nabowat Conference, Lahore, Punjab province

Date of incident: December 15, 2013

Place of incident: Lahore, Punjab

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the arrest of a 72-year-old medical practitioner on false charges of Blasphemy for reciting the Quran.

I am distressed to learn that the hate campaign under the law enforcement authorities against the religious minority groups is continuing and the fundamentalist religious groups have made their own intelligence agencies to trap the persons who are providing medical services to the people. The irony is that the law enforcement agencies believe in such intelligence reports and arrest any person on that basis.

I am informed that Dr. Masood Ahmad (72), is a member of the minority Ahmadi sect, who is declared non-Muslim under the terms of the country’s constitution and subject to widespread discrimination, violence and abuse. Dr Ahmad was arrested from Lahore, Punjab province, on 15 December, 2013, after two persons from a Muslim fundamentalist group secretly filmed him reading a translation of a verse from the Quran. The accusers posed as patients at a clinic run by Dr Ahmad and after receiving medication stayed to ask religious questions. They questioned him about his faith and used mobile phones to secretly record him reading a verse from the Quran.

Dr. Ahmad returned to Pakistan in 1982 to open a pharmacy after working in London. His family members fear the country’s strict blasphemy laws are being used to persecute the widower and strip him of his pharmacy. The Muslim fundamentalists are exerting pressure on the provincial government and judges to convict anyone accused of blasphemy. Dr Ahmad was arrested when a mob, including local clerics, gathered outside a police station demanding that the doctor face charges.

The lawyers have filed three different bail applications and it is unacceptable that on the one bail application the fundamentalists occupied the court premises and shouted slogans and threatened the doctor’s lawyers and the judge. On the hearing of two bail applications the lawyers of the victim were absent. Doctor Ahmad is in the prison and there are chances that he would be killed in custody as the religious groups are inciting the prisoners to deal with the Ahmadi to change his religion or kill him. They believe that Ahmadis do not have any place in Islam. Religious hardliners claim there is a place in heaven waiting for anyone who murders a member of the sect.

His clinic has been illegally occupied by a Muslim leader who incited the community to punish an Ahmadi person so as to obtain possession of his property.

I therefore urge you to institute an immediate inquiry into the blatantly illegal arrest of this innocent man for the sole purpose of seizing his property. The government must take action to release Dr.

Ahmad and ensure that his property is returned to him. He should be given protection by the police so that any future harassment is curtailed. Action must be taken against the local police of Lahore who have, once again, not followed the law and taken action at the behest of fundamentalists who have created their own intelligence agencies.

It is shocking that the government authorities allow the law enforcement agencies to run their own agencies and accept as truthful their reports without any verification.

I also urge Prime Minister Cameron to contact the government of Pakistan in order to ensure the immediate release of Dr. Masood Ahmad, a British citizen.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Mian Nawaz Sharif

Prime Minister

Prime Minister House

Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 51 922 1596

Tel: +92 51 920 6111

E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

2. Mr David Cameron

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street,

London, SW1A 2AA,

UK.

E-mail [email protected]

3. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan

Federal Minister for Interior

R Block, Pak Secretariat

Islamabad (Pakistan)

Tele : 0092-51-9212026

Fax: 0092-51-9202624

Email Address: [email protected]

[email protected]

4. Federal Minister of Law and Human Rights

Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights

Old US Aid building

Ata Turk Avenue

G-5, Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 51 9204108

Email: [email protected]

5. Mr. Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood

Governor of Punjab

Governor House

Mall Road

Lahore, Punjab

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 42 99203044

Email: [email protected]

6. Mr. Justice Umar Ata Bandial

Chief Justice of Punjab Province

Lahore High Court

Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Lahore

PAKISTAN

Tel: +92 42 99212951-66

Fax: +92 42 99212279

Email: [email protected]

7. Mr. Shahbaz Sharif

Chief Minister

Government of Punjab

Province

Chief Minister

Secretariat

5-Club Road

GOR-I, Lahore, Punjab

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 42 99205065

Email: [email protected]

8. Dr. Faqir Hussain

Registrar

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Constitution Avenue, Islamabad

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 51 9213452

Email: [email protected]

9. Mr. Rana Sana Ullah Khan

Minister of Law

Government of Punjab

Punjab Secretariat

Ravi Road

Lahore, Punjab

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 42 99212004

E-mail: [email protected]

 

10. Inspector-General of Police of Punjab

Police Head Office

Lahore, Punjab province

PAKISTAN

Fax: +92 42 9921006

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