Prisoners of conscience (2016)

Prisoners of conscience



Mullas gang up against Rabwah family and employ police support

Rabwah:  September 22, 2016:  While resisting a dreadful case of social harassment, an Ahmadi family was swooped on by a gang of mullas; this resulted in a quarrel in which the police did the mullas’ bid who enlisted help of a politically powerful mulla, Ilyas Chinioti, a PML (N) MPA. The police booked 5 named Ahmadis and unabashedly another 55 as unnamed.

Briefly, Mr. Rashid Ahmad Butt’s family was harassed for three days when someone would throw in a written message for their daughter. Surveillance was activated to catch the culprit. On September 22, 2016 the team discovered him when he threw in a note. The note demanded: Million rupees, or marriage, or bullet – a pistol bullet was enclosed for effect. The man was one Zeeshan Ahmad Butt who had quit the Jamaat sometimes back. When the team tried to seize him, he ran and entered his home which was nearby. There, he telephoned mulla Usama Rahim of Nasirabad (approximately 5 kilometers away) and sought his help. The mulla arrived in company; one of those had donned a veil. Mulla Usama is primarily a criminal, a delinquent who is thriving on making mischief in Rabwah. He and his men had indulged in a quarrel there a few days earlier as well, and the police were informed of their mischief but they took no action against him.

This time again, Usama and his team indulged in bad-mouthing the Ahmadis, started making a video and became violent. The Ahmadis defended themselves. The police and some senior citizens present there prevented escalation, and the two sides came to no serious physical harm. The police required both the parties to report to the police station in the evening.

The mullas accompanied by approximately 30 men arrived at the police station; so did 25 Ahmadis. Ahmadis put in a written complaint for registration of a counter FIR.

At this stage, Mulla Ilyas Chinioti, the PML (N)-MPA from Chiniot accompanied by a large number of supporters arrived at the police station and intervened. The DSP also arrived and the issue, which essentially was of law and order, became political and religious. Ahmadis were, of course, worsened. Their counter FIR was not entertained by the police, instead they detained all the 25 members of the visiting Ahmadi delegation, and told them to present the five named accused, if they wanted these 25 to be released. As for the counter FIR, Ahmadis were told to approach the DPO. The mullah’s complaint had already been registered and followed-up.

The Ahmadi delegation was released after the 5 named accused had presented themselves. A judge sent them to judicial custody. On September 26, they were sent to the prison in Jhang.

The vernacular  press, as usual, printed the mulla’s version – mostly fabricated and false.

The harassed Ahmadi family had to shift elsewhere to avoid continued harassment.

Anti-Ahmadi law continues to take its toll

Mirpur Khas (Sindh); August 15, 2016:  Additional Session Judge upheld 3 years’ imprisonment sentence to Mr. Masud Ahmad Chandio, an Ahmadiyya missionary and awarded one-month imprisonment to Mr. Abdur Razzaq, Ahmadi, in a case registered under the anti-Ahmadi law PPC 298-C. Both the accused were arrested and sent to Hyderabad prison.

It was in 2006 when the local Ahmadi community in Mirpur Khas organized a two-day refresher class for a few converts. The mullas came to know of it and had a criminal case registered with the police.

The prosecution went on for four years. On March 30, 2010, the Civil Judge Mirpur Khas awarded harsh imprisonment sentences to three of the accused, namely Mr. Masud Ahmad Chandio, Mr. Abdul Razzaq and Mr. Abdul Ghani. They were to serve 3 years in prison.

A few weeks later, on appeal, a senior court accepted the plea for bail of the accused and they were released from prison on May 11, 2010. The prosecution, however, continued.

Another six years later, a judge has given the verdict mentioned above.

Fair-minded intellectuals continue to criticize the bad laws specific to Ahmadis. However the state and the mulla give no quarters to Ahmadis; these laws are often applied to persecute Ahmadis all over the country.

Health status of the octogenarian prisoner

Faisalabad; May 12, 2016:    It would be recalled that Mr. Abdul Shakoor, 80-year old Ahmadi, the book-seller from Rabwah was arrested in December 2015 by the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department for selling Ahmadiyya publications that are otherwise known all over the world for their peaceful teachings. After a speedy trial, a judge sentenced him to 8 years’ imprisonment, maximum penalty applicable under the applied clauses.

The innocent patriarch is in prison for over a year while his appeal is pending with the high court.

A medical examination report about him mentioned the following (extract):

“He is case of Inguinal Hernia reducible: Request has been sent to Higher Authorities for sanction for his shifting to DHQ Hospital, Faisalabad for Herniography vide letter No. 6356 dated 14.4.2016. On receiving the sanction, he will be shifted to DHQ Hospital, Faisalabad for Herniography.”

Mr Shakoor remains incarcerated while waiting a hearing of his plea by the High Court.

Four detained after CTD unwarranted raid

Rabwah; December 5, 2016: A Counter-terrorism Department (CTD) squad carried out an armed raid on Ahmadiyya central offices in Rabwah. They had never indulged in this enormity before. They raided under the excuse that a monthly ‘Tehrik Jaded’ was being published despite government’s ban. They overlooked the fact that after the ban, on Ahmadiyya plea the Lahore High Court had issued a stay order. They raided nevertheless, in a brutal way, made arrests at random, took away office equipment and personal belongings like mobile phones and beat up severely office guards. It was all over in 25 minutes. They arrested unjustifiably four Ahmadis, Mr. Amir Faheem, Mr. Zahid Majeed and Mr. Sabahul Zafar from the Ahmadiyya headquarters offices and one Mr. Idrees Ahmad from the printing press. Five other Ahmadis were also booked in this police case.

For essential details see section ‘Persecution Archives’ and sub-section ‘Administration and Police – 2016’.

Four Ahmadi defenders of their mosque arrested

Dulmial, District Chakwal; December 12, 2016:      A violent anti-Ahmadiyya mob attacked the Ahmadiyya mosque in Dulmial, District Chakwal on December 12, 2016. They occupied it, set fire to its furnishings and sacred publications. It was then locked by the authorities. The police booked 36 Ahmadis and 36 non-Ahmadis by name in the FIR and arrested four Ahmadis Malik Riaz Ahmad, Muhammad Ansar, Naveed Ahmad, Khurram Ibrar afterwards.

For essential details see section ‘Persecution Archives’ and sub-section ‘Administration and Police – 2016’.