Celebrating Eid lands Ahmadiyyas in detention in Pakistan

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Three prominent members of Pakistan’s minority Ahmadiyya community have been detained for one month by the Chakwal district administration to prevent them from performing religious rites during Eid-ul Azha.

The detentions in Chakwal district come just days after two Ahmadis were killed in a targeted attack in Mandi Bahauddin, highlighting the increasing threats faced by the community in Pakistan.

On June 10, Chakwal’s Deputy Commissioner Quratul Ain Malik issued separate detention orders for the three men, all residents of Dulmial village, where a mob had attacked an Ahmadi mosque in 2016, killing two people. The historic nineteenth century mosque remains sealed by authorities. The Ahmadiyya community, a religious minority in Pakistan, frequently faces persecution and discrimination.

Malik cited a police report alleging the three could “deteriorate the law and order situation”, invoking a draconian public order law to justify the detentions, which were recommended by the District Intelligence Committee to “prevent sectarian conflict”.

The detainees were subsequently arrested and sent to Jhelum prison.

Ahmadiyya community

A spokesperson for the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya said that the three men were summoned to a meeting with police officials and the assistant commissioner Choa Saidan Shah regarding Eid-ul Azha. During the meeting, which also included complainants opposed to the Ahmadiyya community, the men were pressured not to perform the Qurbani ritual.

They were also harassed and asked to sign a surety bond promising that no Ahmadi in the district would perform Qurbani.

Amnesty International condemned the detentions, calling them a “gross violation of individual rights to liberty and freedom of belief and religion.” The organization highlighted that the detentions occurred shortly after the targeted killing of two Ahmadiyya men in Mandi Bahauddin on June 8.

“Pakistan: The ‘preventive detention’ of three members of the Ahmadiyya community yesterday in Chakwal to stop them from engaging in religious rites during the upcoming Eid al-Adha is a gross violation of individual rights to liberty and freedom of belief and religion,” Amnesty International stated on X.

The detentions have once again drawn attention to the systemic persecution of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan, where they face religious discrimination, hate speech, and violence from extremist groups and the Paki establishment.

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