Press Release from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Canada
Another member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Murdered in Pakistan- This time while in Police Custody
Mr Khalil Ahmad (65), an Ahmadi Muslim, was brutally murdered on Friday, May 16, 2014 while in police custody at Sharq-Pur Police Station in District Shaikhpura, Pakistan. The deceased had been arrested some days earlier on entirely baseless blasphemy charges, along with three other Ahmadi Muslims, following an overt anti-Ahmadi campaign perpetrated by certain non-Ahmadi members of the local community.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) the other 3 Ahmadi Muslims were granted interim bail but Khalil Ahmad was kept in police custody. On May 16, 2014, the assailant was able to enter Khalil Ahmad’s cell and fired at him killing him instantly.
The National President for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada, Lal Khan Malik said:
“Innocent, law-abiding Ahmadis in Pakistan continue to be murdered, imprisoned and denied the right to worship. They are regularly killed in attacks provoked because of their faith. The brutal murder of Khalil Ahmad has caused pain and hurt to the thousands of Ahmadi Muslims in Canada and the millions around the world. The fact that he was killed while in police custody is clear proof that Ahmadi Muslims are not safe in Pakistan. We hope and pray that a full investigation is carried out and that those involved in this murder are brought swiftly to justice in accordance with the law. This case has once again illustrated the way in which Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws are disgracefully misused to target innocent individuals. It is imperative that these unjust laws are repealed urgently.”
Pakistan has a long history of state sponsored persecution and denying basic human rights to minorities, including Ahmadis. Not only do Pakistan’s authorities refuse to protect or help Ahmadi Muslims, they actively participate in their persecution. For three decades, Ahmadis have suffered under specific anti-Ahmadi and blasphemy laws (Ordinance XX) which has resulted in Ahmadis being criminalized, fined or jailed for practicing their faith.
Khalil Ahmad was 65 years old and is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. The Canadian government and human rights groups are urged to put pressure on Pakistan to bring the culprits to justice and repeal the barbaric blasphemy laws against minorities, including Ahmadi Muslims.