U.S. Human Rights report criticizes Pakistan for its treatment of Ahmadis

The United States on Wednesday criticized Pakistan for its treatment of Ahmadis and other religious minorities.

A country report by the U.S. State Department noted Pakistan’s use of discriminatory laws against Ahmadis, Shias and Christians. The reported stated:

Courts routinely failed to protect the rights of religious minorities. Courts discriminatorily used laws prohibiting blasphemy against Shia, Christians, Ahmadis, and members of other religious minority groups. Lower courts often did not require adequate evidence in blasphemy cases, and some convicted persons spent years in jail before higher courts eventually overturned their convictions or ordered their release.

The annual report also denounced Pakistani authorities’ restrictions on “Freedom of Peaceful Assembly” by Ahmadis:

Authorities generally prohibited Ahmadis, a religious minority, from holding conferences or gatherings. Ahmadis cited the closure by Sialkot authorities of an Ahmadiyya mosque on May 14 and mob attacks on two other mosques in Sialkot and Faisalabad as evidence of the ongoing severe conditions for the community.

According to the Department of State, Pakistan also barred Ahmadis from participating in the political Process of the country:

The government requires voters to indicate their religion when registering to vote and requires Ahmadis to declare themselves as non-Muslims. Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims, and many were unable to vote because they did not comply.

The annual report catalogs violence, repression and cruelty around the world, under a mandate set by Congress in foreign aid and trade laws.