The Anti Torture Alliance Pakistan has condemned what it called the “ruthless torture” of an Ahmedi teacher in police custody that allegedly led to his death and voiced concern about the “growing number” of incidents in Pakistan in which religious minorities are targeted.
In a statement released here on Tuesday, the alliance demanded a judicial inquiry into the death of Abdul Quddoos Ahmed, who allegedly died of wounds inflicted by Chenab Nagar police during several weeks in detention.
The ATA Pakistan, which described itself as an alliance of civil society groups, said that the minorities had been socially and institutionally marginalised and there were a growing number of cases of them being tortured by the police.
It said that the teacher was taken into custody by the police on February 10 for interrogation in a murder case and detained illegally for 35 days. It said that he was released on March 26 in critical condition and later died in hospital. It noted that a case had been registered against two sub-inspectors, but neither had been arrested yet.
Salman Abid of the Strengthening Participatory Organisation said that the police had tried to cover up their “criminal actions” by releasing Ahmed from illegal detention shortly before his death.
Bushra Khaliq, the focal person for ATA Pakistan, said the teacher’s “brutal murder” showed the bias against religious minorities in society. She demanded that the government urgently address the issue.
Samson Salamat, the executive director at the Centre for Human Rights Education, said that the state allowed the persecution of religious minorities .
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2012.