Punjab police have defaced as many as 45 Ahmadi graves in Hafizabad removing plaques and destroying gravestones at the cemetery.
According to journalist Azaz Syed, who shared a video of the destroyed gravesites on Twitter, police raided the graveyard over the weekend. He called for the government to take action against the crime.
“The illegal act taken by the [District Hafizabad Police] against the Ahmadiyya Community is not only an act of violation of Human Rights, but also it is an act that has further dimmed the face of our beloved country Pakistan in the eyes of the International Community,” he shared in a post.
“The persecution carried out against the Ahmaddiya Community in Pakistan is not only limited to those who are alive, but the Ahmadis that have passed away are also not safe in their graves,” read a statement from a spokesperson of the Ahmadi community following the incident, adding that the graveyard has been in Hafizabad since 1974.
In a separate incident in June of last year, a mob allegedly tried to prevent the burial of an Ahmadi women in a cemetery in Sheikhupura, Punjab. Authorities vowed to take action against those responsible for the attack, and ruled that Ahmadis would be buried in ‘predetermined sites’ in the future.
Since 2020, community members have reported a rise in crimes against the Ahmadis. Blasphemy cases lodged against Ahmadi increased by tenfold in 2020
At least five Ahmadis were murdered in 2020, and another two Ahmadi men were killed in 2021. In November, a 40-year-old Ahamdi man was shot dead in Peshawar by unknown assailants. Two months earlier, another Ahmadi man has beeen shot and killed near Nankana Sahib in Punjab.