ABOUT EOPM

EOPM   is a Human Rights Organization which raises its voice against atrocities done on minorities in countries like Pakistan, which harbours and abets religious fanatics. EOPM has repeatedly expressed concern at attacks on non-Muslims over allegations of blasphemy and desecration of religious scriptures.

Violence against religious minorities is commonplace in Pakistan, one of 13 countries named by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, where the government condones or supports such behaviour. “This year has seen the largely unchecked growth in the power and reach of religiously-motivated extremist groups whose members are engaged in violence in Pakistan and abroad, with Pakistani authorities ceding effective control to armed insurgents espousing a radical Islam ideology,” the 2009 report stated. Recent events throughout Pakistan and in the Swat Valley confirm the situation.

The attacks on Christians seem to be symptomatic of a well-organised campaign launched by extremist elements against the community all over central Punjab in Pakistan since early this year. The recent (February, 2010) beheading of two innocent Sikhs and the systematic attacks on minorities like the Ahmadiyyas as well as persecution of Hindu minority communities in Pakistan all bear evidence to gross Human Rights Violation in the country, which seems to continue unrestricted.

Pakistan has not done anything to protect its religious minorities. When minorities are targeted, it usually proves the last straw on the proverbial camel’s back for a civilized society. The allegations of defiling of religious scriptures or blasphemy, irrespective of their veracity, do not warrant vigilante attacks. Effective prosecution would serve as a deterrent and lack thereof would encourage impunity.

It is obvious that many officials of the police and prisons have colluded with extremists and fanatics in perpetrating crimes against religious minorities, especially Christians. The government’s record of protecting religious minorities either in their homes as in Gojra or in jails as in Sialkot, to say the least, is disappointing. Numerous incidents of death of people facing blasphemy charges in jails have been claimed by the authorities as suicides. One glaring example is that of Mohammad Yousuf, an accused facing a trial for false prophet-hood, who was found dead in Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore.

OUR GOALS

  • Encourage the Pakistani government to bring to justice perpetrators and executors of violent acts against minority communities.
  • Ensure that government action against banned militant and religious organisations goes beyond issuing notifications proscribing them.
  • Seek implementation of laws against hate speech and inciting citizens to violence.
  • Seek issuance of clear instructions to police and other authorities to ensure protection of minorities.
  • Seek repeal of all laws being used to victimise and exploit religious minorities, especially allegations of blasphemy or defiling of religious scriptures.
  • Ensure government action to prevent attacks rather than reacting belatedly, such as award of monetary compensation.
  • Request prompt measures to stem growing intolerance towards religious minorities to avoid recurrence of vigilante actions.
  • Seek transparent inquiries into cases of alleged suicides in jails of so called offenders of the blasphemy law.

More than 70 killed in suicide attack in Shia Alquds Day Rally, 4 September, 2010

Kohistan carnage, in which 18 innocent Shia people were gunned down in Gilgit, 7 March, 2012