A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: Stop crusade against Ahmadiyya community

Bildergebnis für ahmadiyya pakistan

Islamabad, 13.04.2017 (AHRC) – A new wave of persecution and killings of the Ahmadi sect has started after an Islamabad high court judge took a position on religious matters of individuals, particularly about free discussions on social media.

Judge Shaukat Siddiqui is generally known as a bigot and hate monger. Leading the movement for the release of Constable Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of former governor of Punjab province, Mr. Salman Taseer, the judge declared Qadri as ‘Ghazi’ (victorious for upholding the teachings of Islam).

In recent days, Judge Siddiqui is taking cases of alleged blasphemy and instructing the authorities to ban the accused persons’ accounts of Facebook, Twitter and Internet. The Judge’s interpretation of blasphemy amounts to any free discussion on Islam or its sacred personalities.

Unfortunately, the backlash of this focus on blasphemy is faced by the Ahmadiyya community, which ironically never challenges the ideas of other religions or sects of Islam.
Harassed, ostracized, and made outcastes, the “kafir” (infidel) Ahmadi community has been suffering incessantly at the hands of fundamentalist groups who vowed to wipe out all Ahmadis from Pakistan. Since 1974, when Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims, the country has witnessed a systematic cleansing, and a political, social, and economic ostracization of Ahmadis.

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Christian Solidarity Worldwide: “UN actively blocking civil society”

UN NGO COMMITTEE DENIES CSW UN ACCESS

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Press Release by CSW

New York/London, 06.01.2017 (CSW) – The United Nations (UN) Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) voted on 3 February to reject Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s (CSW’s) application for official UN accreditation, after deferring the application since 2009.

CSW applied in 2009 for consultative status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), an official UN accreditation which would give CSW access to the key human rights advocacy platforms including the Human Rights Council and General Assembly.

In a highly questionable decision, the NGO committee voted 11– 4, with one abstention and three absent, to deny CSW’s application. The NGO Committee comprises 19 UN member states. It is tasked with considering applications for consultative status by NGOs and facilitating civil society access to the UN. States that voted against CSW’s application include China, Cuba and India. The UK Mission to the UN will be appealing the decision to the ECOSOC body that oversees the NGO Committee.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard call shooting an act of terrorism

6 dead, 2 arrested after shooting at Quebec City mosque

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Quebec, 29.01.2017 (CBC) – Quebec provincial police say six people are dead and eight were wounded after shots were fired inside a mosque on Sunday night during evening prayers. Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Christine Coulombe says the victims range in age from 35 to 70.  Some of the wounded are considered to be in critical condition.

Thirty-nine people escaped the Islamic cultural centre of Quebec in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood without injuries, according to Coulombe.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said it was obvious that the shooting should be treated as an act of terrorism. “It’s an murderous act directed at a specific community,” he said at a press conference just after 1:30 a.m. “I think the majority of citizens, not just in Quebec but elsewhere, would describe it that way.” Earlier Couillard said that “Quebec categorically rejects this barbaric violence” and offered solidarity with the families of the victims.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the shooting, which he described as a “terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge,” in a statement. “Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country,” said Trudeau.

Attack on the Ground Floor

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Maintaining diversity is key to counter extremism, Open doors reports

Christians ‘excluded’ from Iraq’s reconstruction plans

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By World Watch Monitor

Baghdad, 27.01.2017 (WWM) – Christians are being excluded from the reconstruction plans for northern Iraq, further eroding the likelihood of their return once Islamic State has been militarily defeated there, an alliance of UK-based charities has warned.

Iraqi Christians firmly believe that Iraq is their spiritual homeland; their presence dates back at least to the 3rd Century. Before 2003, there were approximately 1.5 million Christians in Iraq, but estimates now range from 200,000 to 500,000. Approximately 70% of Iraq’s Christians are from the Chaldean Catholic tradition, while the remainder are Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Armenian and Protestant.

After the Allied invasion of Iraq, many Christians fled the Baghdad area for the north, where some towns (such as Qaraqosh) had been almost 95% Christian before 2003. It’s estimated that at the time Mosul was invaded by Islamic State in June 2014, only about 3,000 Christians were left from the 35,000 there in 2003.

Now the UK coalition of mainly Christian charities working in Iraq and Syria says it’s “clear” that leaders of religious minority communities are being excluded from the National Settlement plan being put together by Iraq and other regional powers and presented to the UN.

The 88-page report, Ensuring Equality, which brought together contributions from 16 NGOs, adds that it is vital that Christians and other minority populations have support for their political and security concerns if they are to feel reassured enough to return to Mosul or the surrounding Nineveh Plains region, rebuild their communities and undertake any reconciliation process.

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China aspires to global leadership, undermines fundamental human rights

China Sees Space on the High Moral Ground

By Aaron Rhodes

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Davos, 19.01.2017 (Providence) – With Europe faltering and a new United States president attacking globalization and international organizations, and vowing to focus on national interests, leaders and experts are concerned about the threat of populism to what they still believe is the liberal democratic world order.

In this situation, China has taken center stage. At Davos on January 17, President Xi Jinping spoke of his government’s determination to play a responsible role in defending and contributing to multilateral efforts to “secure peace and reduce poverty.” Xi was applauded for opposing protectionism. All states, he intoned, should “view their own interests in a broader context,” and “refrain from pursuing their own interests at the expense of others.”

The contradiction between these positions and China’s program of building military installations on disputed islands in the South China Sea, a serious challenge to the international rule of law, is obvious. But they belie a more complex, and even more malignant, perversion of the principles upon which United Nations human rights treaties and institutions were founded, and they reflect an effort to defend and legitimate practices the international human rights system was set up to end. China, where 60 million people were murdered in the process of establishing and maintaining communist rule, continues to abuse the fundamental human rights of its people, undermines international human rights institutions, and indeed subverts the very concept of innate, individual human rights. (…)

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Aaron Rhodes is President of the Forum for Religious Freedom Europe. He was Executive Director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights 1993-2007, and later a founder of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Freedom Rights Project, a human rights think tank.

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86 members of the country’s Muslim minority have been killed since 9 October, with 34,000 fleeing across the border to Bangladesh

UN human rights envoy visits Burma as Rohingya genocide concerns mount

By Simon Lewis and Wa Lone

London/Naypyidaw, 09.01.2017 (Independent) – United Nations human rights envoy Yanghee Lee has arrived in Burma on a 12-day visit amid growing concern about reports of abuse of members of the Rohingya Muslim minority in a government security crackdown.

Attackers killed nine police officers on 9 October in a coordinated assault on posts near Burma’s border with Bangladesh. Authorities say members of the Rohingya minority carried out the attacks and launched a security sweep. Since then, at least 86 people have been killed and the UN says about 34,000 civilians have fled across the border to Bangladesh.

Residents and refugees accuse the military of killing, raping and arbitrarily detaining civilians while burning villages in northwestern Rakhine State. The government, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, denies the accusations and insists a lawful counter-insurgency operation is underway.

Lee would visit the north of Rakhine State, where the military operation is taking place, the commercial hub Yangon, the capital Naypyidaw and Kachin State in the north, where government forces are battling autonomy-seeking ethnic Kachin guerrillas, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

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Three Recommendations to Stop the Persecution of Christians

Will the Trump Administration support Christians in the Middle East?

By Ian Speir

Washington D.C., 06.01.2017 (Providence) – When Donald Trump takes office on January 20, he will inherit a raft of foreign policy problems from his predecessor. Russia is again an ascendant power, with geopolitical ambitions that reach deep into Asia and ever more westward into Europe. New footholds in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria will allow Iran, the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, to continue “exporting” the Islamic Revolution to its neighbors. Meanwhile, its revolutionary proxy, Hezbollah, sits at Israel’s northern border and remains a serious conventional threat to Israel, especially now with Bashar al-Assad consolidating power and returning stability to Syria.

There’s also Israel itself. Under President Obama, U.S. relations with the Middle East’s only democracy reached a historic nadir. Obama’s shameful decision to secretly orchestrate and then abstain from vetoing a one-sided UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements will only embolden Israel’s enemies and further derail peace efforts in the region. The incoming Trump administration now confronts a double hurdle with Israel: repairing a key strategic partnership that fractured deeply under Obama, and returning both Israel and the Palestinians to meaningful negotiations over the two-state solution. The first hurdle is surmountable in the short term. The second is not. The damage has been done, and it will take the next four years (at least) to undo it.

Then there’s Syria, a place where the United States drew phantom red lines and stood by as the region’s two ascendant powers—Russia and Iran—made successful power plays, slaughtering thousands of Syrian civilians, including women and children, in the process. The civil war in Syria has triggered the worst global migration crisis since World War II, and its destabilizing effects will be felt across the world for years. Meanwhile, Iran has been relocating Iraqi Shiite families to Damascus neighborhoods abandoned by Sunnis during the fighting—a resettlement project that really is illegal but doesn’t even register on the UN’s radar.

Finally, the problem of radical Islam and the terrorism it spawns remain. Islamic State (ISIS) is perhaps the most visible and salient threat. Even as its short-lived, self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria shrinks, its terrorist tentacles are reaching across the world, as the recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt, the Christmas market in Berlin, and a nightclub in Istanbul soberly remind us. (…)

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