Pakistan: Jubilee Campaign Addresses UN Human Rights Council On Arbitrary Detention And Blasphemy Laws – OpEd


Joseph Jansen, the Advocacy Officer for Jubilee Campaign, delivered a compelling statement at the 54th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, emphasizing grave concerns regarding arbitrary detentions and the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

In his address, Mr. Jansen expressed deep concern for the unjust detention of various individuals in Pakistan, which includes political workers, journalists, lawyers, and human rights defenders. He highlighted that these detentions were frequently carried out under the guise of national security concerns, criticism of state institutions, or religious discrimination.

Furthermore, the Jubilee Campaign voiced distress over the alarming rise in fabricated blasphemy accusations, pre-trial detentions, unfair prosecution, continuous threats, and incitement to violence against minorities, creating a distressing atmosphere for minority communities within Pakistan. The organization particularly emphasized the activities of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), an extremist religio-political group, for inciting violence and falsely implicating minorities in blasphemy charges for political gains.

Of significant concern was the failure of the police to prevent mob violence against Christians, leveraging fabricated blasphemy accusations as a pretext, particularly in Jaranwala. Moreover, the Jubilee Campaign pointed out the police’s negligence in addressing baseless complaints of blasphemy accusations against Christians in Sargodha, leading to the arbitrary arrest and detention of numerous Christians, including men, women, and children, subjecting them to illegal custody for extended periods.

In response to these pressing issues, the Jubilee Campaign urged Pakistani authorities to take the following actions:

Fulfill their obligation to prohibit any advocacy of hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence.

Amend all blasphemy laws to introduce impregnable and effective safeguards to prevent their abuse, ensuring a fair, impartial, and transparent investigation and trial in all cases involving blasphemy accusations.

Strictly adhere to standards of human rights law, implementing measures to prevent arbitrary arrests and detentions, and amend laws that impose restrictions on fundamental freedoms.

The Jubilee Campaign concluded its statement with a call for action on these critical human rights issues in Pakistan, urging all concerned stakeholders to address these concerns promptly and effectively.

Kashif Nawab

Kashif Nawab is a Director with Social Action Transformation of Humanity (SATH) in Pakistan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *