Jubilee Campaign Addresses the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Pakistan

GENEVA – Switzerland | 18 September 2023: Jubilee Campaign addresses the Human Rights Council during the interactive dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at the 54th session, raising concern with Pakistan authorities’ arbitrary detention of individuals under its anti-blasphemy laws.

Mr. President,

Jubilee Campaign is concerned that political workers, journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders, and blasphemy accused have been arbitrarily arrested and detained in Pakistan on the pretext of national security, criticism of state institutions, and religion-based discrimination.  

The Jubilee campaign expresses its dismay over the fabricated blasphemy accusations, pre-trial detentions, unfair prosecution, continuous threats, and deliberate incitement to violence against minorities, which have created a social apartheid for minorities in Pakistan, leaving them intimidated, and relocated.

The Jubilee Campaign expresses its serious apprehension that an extremist religio-political group, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has been engaging in a campaign inciting Muslims to implicate minorities in blasphemy charges for their political interests.  

The Jubilee Campaign is deeply concerned over the failure of the police to prevent mob violence against Christians on the pretext of fabricated blasphemy accusations in Jaranwala, and prevent the registration of multiple baseless complaints of blasphemy accusations against Christians in Sargodha, which led to the arbitrary arrest and detention of dozens of Christians including men, women, and children, making them remain in the illegal custody of the police for several days. 

Therefore, Pakistani authorities are urged to:

  • 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 stop their abuse, and ensure a fair, impartial, and transparent investigation and trial in all cases involving blasphemy accusations. 
  • strictly adhere to standards of human rights law, take measures to prevent arbitrary arrests and detentions, and amend certain laws that impose curbs on fundamental freedoms. 

Thank you

Statement delivered by:

Joseph Jansen,  Jubilee Campaign