‘Citizens for Democracy’ alliance formed to amend blasphemy laws

Published: December 27, 2010
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Civil society and human rights organisations, trade union activists and lawyers formed the “Citizens for Democracy” alliance.

Civil society and human rights organisations, trade union activists and lawyers formed the “Citizens for Democracy” alliance.

KARACHI: Civil society and human rights organisations, trade union activists and lawyers formed the “Citizens for Democracy” alliance on Sunday to launch a campaign to amend the blasphemy laws. This was decided at a meeting of 28 different organisations held at the office of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) that recently had to defend a doctor from Hyderabad who had been falsely accused.

The participants at the meeting extended their full support on the bill on blasphemy law tabled by PPP MNA Sherry Rehman and decided to have meetings with members of parliamentary committee on law and parliamentarian affairs to expedite the process.

The participants demanded the proper implementation of the 1973 Constitution that protects minorities and guarantees equal rights to every citizen.

Among other organisations, PMA, Labour Party, Awami Party, Joint Action Committee (alliance of different NOGs), Aurat Foundation, Karachi Union of Journalists, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Joint Action Committee for Human Rights, and National Justice and Peace Commission were present.

Journalist Beena Sarwar and Noman Qadri of the People Resistance Group were nominated as focal persons of the alliance who will coordinate different networks, organisations and likeminded groups in an effort to launch the campaign.

The participants also decided that a seminar will be held in Karachi in January in which lawyers, religious leaders, political parties, ex-judges and people from labour unions will be invited to discuss blasphemy laws.

“Blasphemy cases are registered under section 295-C in which it is clearly mentioned that no junior police official can lodge the case. So, during the registration of an FIR, it must be ensured that unfairness is not meted out to anyone,” a participant said. “Most of the blasphemy cases registered against minorities are not genuine, therefore there should be a effective clause with same charges against the complainant, so that no one will dare to register false cases in future” another participant suggested.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Omar
    Dec 27, 2010 - 3:45PM

    If we have any hope of becoming a modern Muslim country, we must amend or get rid of these draconian laws. Its plain ridiculous that people are being imprisoned for tossing business cards and makes us fools in front of other Muslim countries and the world as a wholeRecommend

  • Shakil+Ahmed
    Dec 27, 2010 - 4:07PM

    Ok! We are ready to face everything alliance but “Gustakh -e- Rasool shall only be punished death” atleast.Recommend

  • Dec 27, 2010 - 6:21PM

    We need more people to wake upRecommend

  • Ailia Zehra
    Dec 27, 2010 - 9:43PM

    Amend this law! No to injustice!Recommend

  • Faraz
    Dec 28, 2010 - 11:40AM

    yes law should be amended, Supreme Court of Pakistan should amend that “there are only death punished for Ghultakh-e-Rasool’s and name of all Prophet should be in the judiciary list from Adam (alaih e salam) to Prophet Mohammad (sww). if any person found guilty and used ill words for any prophet of Allah (even for Prophet Eassa a.s), should be hanged. Recommend

  • Aabid
    Dec 30, 2010 - 12:11PM

    As per the unanimous decision in a meeting of Insani Huqooq Ittehad in Islamabad on Dec 23, and a joint announcement made by the Ittehaad in a press Conference in Islamabad the following day, we are holding a demonstration against the unjust laws of blasphemy, for an immediate repeal / amendment to these laws, abolition of Federal Shariat Court (and all parallel structures of judiciary in Pakistan) and calling for an immediate p…etition from the government against the judgement of the Shariat Court against Women’s Protection Bill.

    The demonstration will be held on Dec 30, 2010 at 2 pm in the parade Ground Islamabad (in front of the D-Chowk Parliament House).

    People from all walks of society, academia, media, lawyers, activists, students, political workers, business and professional organizations, trade / labour unions, students unions, minority groups – all who believe in a just society with equal rights for all citizens – are invited to kindly join us in this struggle and come to the demo as your statement of dissent.

    Media personalities in this list are requested to kindly ensure the coverage by their respective media house.

    Please forward this message generously to your mailing lists and social networking sites. Thanks.

    Looking forward to see you on Dec 30th at Parade Ground at 2 pm.

    PS: the stance of IHI as issued in the Press conference can be accessed at: http://marvisirmed.com/?p=1297Recommend

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