Petition to pakistan goverment
Freedom for Taimoor Raza - Sentenced to death for Blasphemy.
They were detained under the controversial Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, passed last year, which has been criticised for curbing human rights and giving overreaching powers to law enforcement agencies. An FIA official told the Guardian that his agency had orders from the interior ministry to interrogate, and seize laptops and phones, without warrant. “We are authorised to detain anyone, just on suspicion,” the agent said. Quratulain Zaman, human rights defender with Bytes for All Pakistan, said the harassment of social media users was unprecedented, and a sign of social media’s growing ability to shape public opinion, including against the military. While Raza is the first person sentenced to death for blasphemy on social media, several others are on death row for alleged blasphemy in public. Among them is Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted in 2010 after a row with two Muslim women in a village in Punjab. With a long-awaited final appeal adjourned, Bibi is still in solitary confinement. In Pakistan, blasphemy is so contentious that the mere mention of unfounded allegations can ignite mass uproar. In April, a mob at a north-western university took 23-year-old Mashal Khan from his dormitory and lynched him, angered by accusations that Khan had offended Islam. Last week, a joint investigation concluded the baseless allegations had been a conspiracy by some students and university staff. In another incident, in May, a 10-year-old boy was killed when a mob tried to storm a police station in Balochistan in anger at a man held on blasphemy charges. Four people were sentenced to death for blasphemy last year, according to the HRCP. In a 2016 report (pdf) by the commission, Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi rejected most blasphemy allegations. “A majority of blasphemy cases were based on false accusations, stemming from property disputes or other personal or family vendettas rather than genuine instances of blasphemy,” he said.
Petition to An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD
Hold a referendum to repeal Ireland's Blasphemy Laws
Open Letter to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD Dear Taoiseach, Last October, your government decided that a referendum should be held on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Irish Constitution and that your Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald would lead consultations on a bill to be put before the Oireachtas. The clear implication of this commitment was that the referendum would be held during the lifetime of this Government. You have also said that you were “shocked and appalled by the brutal and horrific killings” at Charlie Hebdo but you must be aware that those who support murder for blasphemy also include the governments of many nations. The continuing case of Asia Bibi in Pakistan has received global attention and tragically, many others have already been executed for blasphemy. Ireland is the only European country to have introduced a contemporary blasphemy law. At the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2009, Pakistan proposed the adoption of precise wording from the Irish blasphemy law, as part of efforts by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to limit Human Rights on freedom of conscience. As Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion, has advised Atheist Ireland to convey to the Constitutional Convention: “I wouldn’t expect any harsh verdicts being handed down in Ireland, but those countries that continue to have an intimidating anti-blasphemy practice like to quote European countries to unmask Western hypocrisy.” The distinction between Ireland and those who carry out executions for blasphemy must consist of more than just the severity of the punishment applied upon conviction. Despite your recent prevarication, we the undersigned urge you to lead by example and comply with your promise of a referendum to repeal all Irish blasphemy laws. It is your duty to take a strong position on behalf of those intimidated into silence in Ireland and more importantly, on behalf of those facing execution by nations who cite Irish blasphemy laws in justification and mitigation of their behaviour. Yours Sincerely, JOHN HAMILL - AI Campaign Against Blasphemy Laws MICHAEL NUGENT - Chairperson, Atheist Ireland RICHARD DAWKINS - Evolutionary Biologist and Author STEVEN PINKER - Cognitive Scientist and Author JIM AL-KHALILI - Theoretical Physicist and Broadcaster LAWRENCE KRAUSS - Theoretical Physicist and Author MARYAM NAMAZIE - Author and Human Rights Activist JERRY COYNE - Evolutionary Biologist and Author CAROLYN PORCO - Planetary Scientist ED BYRNE - Comedian and Actor MICHAEL SHERMER - Author and Historian of Science SEAN CARROLL - Theoretical Physicist at Caltech DANIEL DENNETT - Cognitive Scientist and Author AOIFE MCLYSAGHT - Geneticist and Science Communicator ANDREW COPSON - Chief Executive, British Humanists TOBY YOUNG - Journalist and Broadcaster IAIN MIDDLETON - President, Humanist Society of New Zealand RORY O’NEILL - Gay Rights Activist ERIC ADRIAANS - National Executive Director, CFI Canada CHRISTINE SHELLSKA - President, Atheist Alliance International MICHEL VIRARD - President, Quebec Humanists SONJA EGGERICKX - President, International Humanist Union PIERRE GALAND - President, European Humanist Federation HELENA SHEEHAN - Author and DCU Professor Emerita HOPE KNUTSSON - President, Icelandic Humanist Association LONE FRANK - Neurobiologist and Science Journalist ANNE MARIE WATERS - Sharia Watch UK PATRICIA CHURCHLAND - Neurophilosopher and Author NONIE DARWISH - Director, Former Muslims United KATE SMURTHWATE - Comedian and Activist NINA SANKARI - Vice-President Atheist Coalition, Poland MICHAEL DE DORA - Representative to the United Nations, CFI TASLIMA NASRIN - Author and Poet DAVID NASH - Author and Blasphemy Law Historian DAVID NORRIS - Senator and Civil Rights Activist JOSEPH RUSSEL TETTEH - President, Ghana Atheist Alliance SÉAMUS DOOLEY - Irish Secretary, National Union of Journalists ALICE CARR - President, Progressive Atheists ELIDA RADIG - Broadcaster and Feminist HEMANT MEHTA - Editor of FriendlyAtheist.com CLARE DALY -TD for Dublin North DEBORAH HYDE - Editor of The Skeptic MICK WALLACE - TD for Wexford ANN BRUSSEEL - Member of Flemish Parliament
Petition to David Cameron, William Hague
David Cameron: Stand up for British citizens and support them against Pakistan's Blasphemy laws.
I started this petition off to support British/Pakistani national Masood Ahmad, 72, who was arrested a few months ago in Lahore on blasphemy charges. Since then, I've learned that he's been granted bail but this is sadly no victory as at the same time I've also come to learn that there are British citizens who have been in Pakistani jails for YEARS under these same Blasphemy laws. This is scandalous, and we must do something about it. I'll give the story of Masood Ahmad until I get more details of the new cases that have come to light. Two people posing as patients came to him for treatment and had a conversation about religion instead. They used mobile phones to secretly film him reciting a verse from the Koran, and then called the police to have him arrested. Mr Ahmad is an Ahmadi, a member of a minority sect who consider themselves Muslim but were declared heretical under blasphemy laws enacted in Pakistan in the 1980's by the military dictator Zia-ul-Haq. Under the laws, Ahmadis like Mr Ahmad are not allowed to call themselves Muslim, to offer the Muslim greeting of 'Assalamo-alaikum', to pray or to inscribe their homes, graves or places of worship with Islamic inscriptions. This Christmas Day, thousands of Pakistanis live in fear of practicing their faith. Not just Ahmadis, but Christians, Hindus and other minorities. Pakistan's Kafkaesque Blasphemy laws are used to target minorities on spurious charges, with people languishing in prison for simply practicing their faith. In one case, Nazir Ahmad Khoso, a seventeen-year-old Ahmadi boy from Sindh, was charged with “injuring the religious feelings of Muslims,” and other related blasphemy charges and sentenced to 118 years in prison. The Ahmadis are a peaceful minority sect, whose motto 'Love for All, Hatred for None' means that they have never retaliated despite the continual, violent persecution of their beliefs in Pakistan and other parts of the world. The British Government needs to work to secure the release of Masood Ahmad and push the Pakistani government to repeal these Talibanised laws. It is a basic human right to practice any faith or none. We urge the British goverment and the Prime Minister to remind the Pakistani government of this.