FOREF (26.05.2018) – https://bit.ly/2IVkTrf – The Forum for Religious Freedom – Europe (FOREF) condemns in the strongest terms the 23 May 2018 attack on the Baitul Mubarak Mosque in Sialkot, Pakistan, which resulted in the near destruction of the facility. The mosque has historical and spiritual importance for the Ahmadiyya Community.
According to information received by FOREF and media reports, the violence began with the destruction the house of Hakim Hassamuddin by the members of the Municipal Committee of Sialkot, who were escorted by local police. A mob of around 600 persons, reportedly from the local Sunni Muslim community, joined in for the attack on the nearby mosque, chanting anti-Ahmadiyya slogans. The attack took place over a period of about seven hours. Officials claim repairs on the building were illegal.
The Ahmaddiyya Community characterized the incident as “vandalism of buildings by the governmental administration for the mere satisfaction of extremist forces without any judicial order.”
“The government of Pakistan must conduct an impartial investigation and bring the perpetrators of these crimes, including local officials, to justice, and ensure that reparations are made for the damages done to these holy places,” according to Dr. Aaron Rhodes, President of FOREF.
“Our organization and other independent human rights institutions are ready to work with Pakistani authorities to put in place laws and policies that are consistent with Pakistan’s international legal human rights obligations to protect all religious minorities,” he added.
For more information:
Links to news media accounts of the incident are below.
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