Sending Office: Honorable Jackie Speier
Please see below for a sign-on opportunity from Reps. Jackie Speier and Pete King, Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus. Please contact Michelle McGrain (Speier) at Michelle.McGrain@mail.house.gov or Ryan Woodward (King) at Ryan.Woodward@mail.house.gov
to sign on.
November 8, 2017
The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary, U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
CC: Ambassador Nikki Haley
Dear Secretary Tillerson:
We write to express our profound concern about the state-sponsored persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan, and to request that this matter be raised as Pakistan undergoes its upcoming Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
As the State Department has documented consistently in its annual reports, systematic persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan is rampant. During your remarks at the launch of the 2016 International Religious Freedom Annual Report, you noted
that the Pakistani government “marginalizes Ahmadiyya Muslims, and refuses to recognize them as Muslims.” Most recently, three Ahmadi Muslims were sentenced to death for blasphemy by a court in Sheikhupura, Punjab. This sentence came only days after Captain
Muhammad Safdar, parliamentarian and son-in-law of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, made a lengthy speech labeling the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as a threat to the interests of Pakistan and advocating discrimination, hatred, and exclusion of Ahmadi Muslims.
Further, Ahmadi Muslims are excluded from the democratic process in Pakistan. There is currently a separate electoral roll specifically for Ahmadi Muslims, as established by the Chief Executive’s Order No. 15 in 2002, which requires them to identify as non-Muslims.
This goes against their faith, and effectively disenfranchises the Ahmadiyya community. This is a particularly critical issue as Pakistan’s national elections approach in 2018.
In light of these recent developments, we request that the persecution faced by Ahmadi Muslims be raised during Pakistan’s upcoming Universal Periodic Review on November 13, 2017. Despite continued efforts and engagement with our Pakistani allies, persecution
of the Ahmadiyya community not only continues, but has escalated. The upcoming Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan offers an opportunity to advocate for the rights of Ahmadi Muslims and other persecuted faith communities in Pakistan.
Thank you for consideration, and we look forward to your response.
Jackie Speier Peter T. King
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0