UN concerned about human rights violations against Ahmadiyyas in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
United Nations human rights experts have expressed deep concern over the lack of attention to the human rights violations perpetrated against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community around the world, including three countries in South Asia – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
United Nations human rights experts have expressed deep concern over the lack of attention to the human rights violations perpetrated against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community around the world, including three countries in South Asia – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The UN experts have called on the international community to step up efforts in bringing an end to the ongoing persecution of Ahmadis, who are said to constitute about one percent of the Muslim population in the world.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad established the community on 23 March 1889 by formally accepting allegiance from his supporters. However, current orthodox Islamist conceptions consider as anti-Islamic some of the Ahmadiyya-specific beliefs, leading to the persecution of the minority community in several countries.
In addition, in countries like Pakistan, the Ahmadiya are considered heretics. Pakistan’s Ahmadi population is said to be around four million – the highest in the world.
“It is of the utmost importance to shed light on the persistent human rights violations and the rising acts of discrimination against Ahmadis worldwide, which we find deeply worrying,” the experts said.
“We call on the international community to be vigilant and to undertake coordinated action to respond to the violations faced by Ahmadis around the world, particularly in the countries where their lives are most at risk.”
While Ahmadis, considered an Islamic revivalist movement, constitute a global religious community with a rich history and millions of members, for more than 15 years, the UN has received reports of religious intolerance, discrimination and violence perpetrated against this community by state officials as well as non-state actors in several countries, including Pakistan, the experts said, according to voicepk.net.
Other countries include Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, and Sri Lanka.
The UN said that it intervened with the concerned governments and has attempted to strengthen awareness in the international community about the dire situation of the Ahmadis.
UN representatives said that they raised serious concerns about the plethora of human rights abuses and violations suffered by Ahmadis in these countries.
The UN representatives added that the situation has worsened because of the existence of laws and regulations that promoted and institutionalized the predominance of the majority ethnoreligious communities over all other minorities, as well as the promotion of certain religions and beliefs over others.
The experts said that of particular concern were the constitutional provisions, special ordinances, ministerial decrees and religious fatwas that stigmatized and discriminated against the Ahmadiyya community in Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan, and which prohibit Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims, freely expressing their beliefs, practicing their faith, and from effectively participating in public life.
The UN also said that they had observed that Ahmadis were also denied access to public-service employment on religious grounds and are particularly vulnerable to violations under laws on offenses relating to religion (such as blasphemy laws).
Ahmadis are also vulnerable to the laws that regulate social media platforms (and other new technologies), intending to suppress their views and beliefs, increase control of their communities and their persecution through coordinated online hate campaigns and, in certain cases, online coordinated acts of collective punishment.
In addition to discriminatory legislative and policy frameworks, Ahmadis have often been the target of discrimination, exclusion, hate campaigns and violence, including arbitrary arrests and detentions, verbal and physical attacks in the public sphere, as well as attacks against their cultural sites and places of worship.
The UN also added that the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has exacerbated existing religious intolerance and discrimination against minority communities and vulnerable groups worldwide, including the Ahmadis, who have been particularly affected by the upsurge in incitement to hatred and stigmatization, and the propagation of disinformation, holding them responsible for the development and spreading of the Covid-19 virus.