Saturday, July 1, 2017

UN Refugee Agency Makes Special Observation About Ahmadi Asylum-seekers' Need for International Protection


"UNHCR considers that members of the Ahmadi religious minority are likely to be in need of international protection."

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: AT/TOA
By Staff Report | June 30, 2017

In establishing eligibility guidelines for assessing the international protection needs of members of religious minorities from Pakistan, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) not only called for a "particularly careful examination" of risks faced by individuals seeking refugee status from this out of control nation, but also made a special note about the plight of Ahmadis in Pakistan.

In a series of observations made in the UNHCR report, the agency noted that Ahmadis in Pakistan face discrimination on daily basis as a result of State-sanctioned measures which impose limitations on the civil and political rights of Ahmadi individuals.

UNHCR cited as concern that some Pakistani judges have reportedly interpreted the expression of Ahmadi religious beliefs by Ahmadis as a form of blasphemy.

Report further observed that crimes and acts of violence against Ahmadis are not consistently investigated and perpetrators of such crimes are rarely brought to justice.

According to UNHCR report, the agency considers the asylum claims made by members of religious minorities of Pakistani nationality "require particularly careful examination of possible risks." However, it stated, "UNHCR considers that members of the Ahmadi religious minority are likely to be in need of international protection."

UNHCR report said that "[It] does not generally consider an internal flight or relocation alternative (IFA/IRA) to be relevant in cases where an individual is liable to criminal prosecution under the country’s blasphemy and/or anti-Ahmadi laws." However, the report went on to observe that, "Given the widespread and institutionalized forms of discrimination against Ahmadi individuals by the State, as well as the lack of State protection against equally widespread forms of ill-treatment against Ahmadi individuals at the hands of members of society, UNHCR considers that there is no viable IFA/IRA for Ahmadi individuals with a well-founded fear of persecution based on religious grounds in their home area."

"In light of the foregoing," the report said, "UNHCR considers that members of the Ahmadi community, including those targeted by militant groups or charged with criminal offences under the blasphemy or anti- Ahmadi provisions, are likely to be in need of international refugee protection on account of religion, ethnicity, (imputed) political opinion, and/or other relevant grounds, depending on the individual circumstances of the case."

--UN Refugee Agency Makes Special Observation About Ahmadi Asylum-seekers' Need for International Protection

-- UN Refugee Agency Makes special observation about persecution of Ahmadis and need for international protection


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