The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns the recent ruthless, barbaric, and torturous murder of Mr Abdul Qudoos Ahmad, a school teacher, Ahmadi religious group of Islam. The AHRC calls on the Pakistan government to immediately bring the perpetrators to justice.
The level of ruthless barbarity seen in this murder is unacceptable and seldom. It is common knowledge that Ahmadis are mercilessly targeted in Pakistan but the veracity of this murder has taken the persecution of Ahmadis beyond all limits. Whilst the Government of Pakistan persists in denying any form of state sponsored persecution, this incident shows that nothing is further from the truth. This incident proves the state machinery, police and authorities were all complicit in this murder.
Mr Abdul Qudoos Ahmad, was a school teacher and the president of the Nusrat Abad Area of Chenab Nagar (Rabwah). As has been previously reported, he was kept in illegal detention by the police for 45 days during which he was tortured without mercy. The torture included the victim being hung upside down by his ankles for long periods. On other occasions he was forced to lay flat on his back while a heavy wooden roller, similar to those used to flatten cricket pitches, was rolled over his body. His captors stood on either side making sure he could not escape the torment. Please see the urgent appeal;http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-057-2012
He was taken into custody by the police on 10 February 2012 and was kept in a private torture cell of the police until 26 March when his condition deteriorated due to the severe torture he endured. He remained in police custody for 45 days without any charges being laid against him and was not officially arrested. Attempts were made to force him to confess to the murder of one, Muhammad Yousuf, a stamp-paper seller from the Nusrat Abad area who was murdered a few months earlier. The details of the incident are that Muhammad Yousuf’s son asked for Mr Qudoos to be brought to the police station for questioning. Without any reason, the complainant chose to name Mr Qudoos in a request to the district police officer and he was arrested on 10 February 2012. However, his arrest was not formally registered. When contacted the police said they knew Mr Qudoos was also innocent and that they would free him soon but had to keep him there for some reason or the other.
On 17 March the police transferred Mr Qudoos to another location. Ten days after taking him away, they brought him back and asked one of his friends to come and collect him. His friend was asked to sign a plain piece of paper declaring that he was taking Mr Qudoos back. Mr Qudoos was not very well so his friend promptly took him to hospital. It then transpired that after taking him away to another location he was subjected to extreme torture. This affected his health adversely and he had blood in his stools, he vomited blood and his kidneys were affected. Mr Qudoos stated that he was taken away in the dark of the night to another place five hours drive away where he was subjected to extreme torture. The torturers kept saying to him to name members of the Ahmadiyya Leadership in Rabwah so they could falsely charge them with being involved in the murder and by doing so he would be set free. Among the names they suggested were some Directors of the Ahmadiyya Leadership and others. They also tried to get him to sign some papers which he did not. They would say it was the first time they had got hold of an Ahmadi office-holder and then tortured him. During the torture they used abusive language towards the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Founder and leadership. When Mr Qudoos’s health deteriorated they provided some medical treatment and brought him back to Rabwah police station. Later, in the ICU of Fazl e Umer hospital he was given continuous blood. On 29 March he again started vomiting blood and his lungs were affected. He passed away on 30 March. There had been preparations to take him to Tahir Heart Institute but he had suffered from internal injuries due to the torture and passed away.
During the illegal detention Mr. Qudoos was denied access to any legal assistance. The police officials continued the torture throughout the illegal detention and when Mr. Qudoos’ physical condition deteriorated due to the heartless and callous treatment the police forced a family member to place his signature of a piece of blank paper and take him back home. Mr. Qudoos was released on 26 March, 2012 and his family sought immediate medical attention for him.
His brother-in-law who visited him regularly at the hospital states that Mr. Qudoos had related to him that on the night of 17 March he was taken away from Rabwah and tortured brutally. He said that the police station in-charge and the investigative officer both tortured him. He also said that at one point high ranking police officers sat on chairs in a circle and gave him some papers saying it was his statement and that he should sign it. The papers cited false allegations against some central figures of the Ahmadiyya Leadership, so Mr. Qudoos refused to sign. He was told that such and such people were involved in the murder and if he signed the papers he would be set free. Mr. Qudoos refused saying it was not his statement and it was also not factual. When Mr. Qudoos twice refused to sign they threw him to the floor and started hitting him and continually demanded him to comply. They put him through a range of brutal physical torture techniques as well as put him through sleep deprivation. As soon as he would fall asleep they would start beating him up. There was a well-known villain in the cells with him. If they hit him five times, they would hit Mr. Qudoos twenty five times. At one point his health declined so they gave him some medicinal treatment but as soon as he was better they re-started the torture. They taunted him to call his superiors from London or Rabwah to come and save him and used abusive language for elders of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Mr Qudoos said he endured the physical torture but was agonised when they used abusive language. He was also not fed regularly.
Typically, as is the practice of the police in Pakistan, the version filed by the police named only two subordinate officers in their report. SHO Khadim Hussain of the Chenab Nagar police registered a police case only against sub inspectors, Sujhat Ali and Manazar Ali, under sections 302, 148, 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code. In this manner, impunity was assured to the real murderers including SHO Khadim Hussain and other police officials.
This criminal act by the district police has been covered up under the guise of releasing Mr. Qudoos to hide the illegal behaviour of the police. It is also incredible to learn that the Punjab government has yet not started any investigation in to the incident of arbitrary detention, torture and misuse of police power against the concerned police officers. It is a very well known fact the provincial government and particularly the provincial law minister have connections with Muslim fundamentalists groups and banned Islamic organizations who are very much against the Ahmadis and who have been involved in the killings of Ahmadis and Shias, the second largest Muslim sect.
This was an organised and coordinated attempt to sever the leadership of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan from its members by conspiring to get Mr. Qudoos to implicate the leadership of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan in this murder but this did not work. Mr Qudoos paid the ultimate sacrifice with his life.
A judicial inquiry into the illegal detention and torture of Mr Qudoos should be immediately conducted and all the officials of the Chenab Nagar police station and district police officer (DPO) should be prosecuted on the charges of torture and the murder of this innocent man.