GRAVES OF AHMADIS DESECRATED IN ‘MALICIOUS’ ACT OF VANDALISM IN CEMETRY AT PREMKOT, HAFIZABAD PAKISTAN
IHRC/IR/301122/6 30 November 2022
Ahmadi graves have once again been desecrated and vandalised in a “malicious and senseless” attack by vigilantes’ elements in Pakistan. This was the same graveyard that Punjab Police had reportedly desecrated 45 Ahmadi graves in February 2022, located in Premkot, Hafizabad. Persecution against Ahmadis has ramped up as of late, as the IHRC has reported almost daily incidents against the minority group. Graveyard vandalism has been a favoured tactic of the Anti-Ahmadi element in Pakistan for years. This shameful tactic means Ahmadis are not free from persecution even after their death.
IHRC has been informed that in the middle of the night of 22-23rd November, a Muslim cleric, along with another suspect, damaged the tombstones of four Ahmadi graves. The suspect cleric and his friend have been at the forefront of instigating the local public against the Ahmadiyya Community. The graves targeted bore the names “Muhammad” and “Ali”. Four other Ahmadi tombstones were also vandalized with anti-Ahmadiyya slurs.
Pictures of the desecrated Ahmadi graves in Premkot, Hafizabad in Pakistan
IHRC has learned that such actions are taking place all over Pakistan and the government is a party in it as is evidenced from the picture posted.
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Picture of earlier incident showing state officials desecrating Ahmadi graves in Pakistan
A spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community called the incident “heart-wrenching – forget living Ahmadis, even our dead are not spared”. This is simply another incident highlighting the deep insecurity felt by the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan.
The situation only continues to worsen day by day for the Ahmadis living in Pakistan. Just one day earlier, IHRC reported on an Ahmadi man who was booked under the country’s Anti Ahmadiyya laws, section 298-B &298-Cof PPC, by Karachi police for using the prefix “Syed” with his name.
In a society like Pakistan’s where grave desecration has become an oft- used tool in Ahmadi persecution, the affect will reverberate through generations to come. We call upon the international community and human rights groups to stand up against this injustice against Ahmadis in Pakistan and urge the media and government to immediately cease the spread of hate speech in the country which is endangering countless innocent lives.
This must be stopped at all costs and nipped in the bud to stop the perpetrators and brought to justice immediately. Unfortunate ly, there is no simple solution as the government and authorities encourage this behavior. They must be stopped and discouraged from using cheap tactics
to achieve political gain.
On July 13, 2021, UN human rights experts expressed their deep concern over the lack of attention to the serious human rights violations perpetrated against the Ahmadiyya community around the world and called on the international community to step up efforts in bringing an end to the ongoing persecution of Ahmadis.
We once again strongly urge the international community to impress upon the Government of Pakistan to discharge any absurd cases against Ahmadis and release all held in custody and thus honor its responsibility to provide effective protection and freedom of religious practice to Ahmadis and that perpetrators of such vicious actions should be brought to justice, to bring its laws and practices in conformity with international standards as ordained by Article 20 and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 2, 18 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 25, 26.