DECLARATION OF KAREN PARKER
I declare the following to be true and correct. The issues I address in this declaration are whether Respondent, an Ahmadi Muslim, should be granted asylum from Pakistan or whether he may be sent back (refouler) to Pakistan at this time. In my opinion Respondent must be granted asylum from Pakistan because of per se persecution against Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. In addition, events in Pakistan certainly give Respondent a well-founded fear of persecution. Finally, the existence of torture, other serious human rights violations, and serious social unrest in Pakistan along with numerous attacks against Ahmadi Muslims invokes the principle of non-refoulement as it exists in human rights law. The following sets out my qualifications and the bases for my opinion.
1. My name is Karen Parker.
2. My address and telephone number are:
3. I am an attorney specializing in international law, human rights and humanitarian (armed conflict) law. I am a member of the State Bar of California, number 112486.
4. I received a Juris Doctor (Honors) from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1983.
5. I received a Diplome (cum laude) in Droit International et de Droit Compare des Droits de l'Homme (International and Comparative Law of Human Rights) from the Institut International des Droits de l'homme (Strasbourg, France) in 1982.
6. I was a legal intern at the Organization of American States, Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in 1981 and 1982 (Summers), and wrote studies on human rights and humanitarian law issues then before the Commission.
7. I was a judicial extern at the California Supreme Court (chambers of Justice Frank Newman) from August 1982 until Justice Newman's retirement from the bench in December 1982.
8. I have been accepted as an expert witness in international law before the Tokyo High Court (Japan); the Court of Norway (Oslo second instance); before the United States Magistrates in San Francisco; in immigration proceedings in Harlingen, Texas; San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, California; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Omaha Nebraska; and in several state courts in California. See, e.g In the Matter of Santos-Gomez, Immigration Court for Washington, D.C., Case #A29564-781, 785, 801 at p. 3, citing Fed. R. Evid.
9. My views on international law have been cited in several judicial opinions, including Von Dardel v. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 623 F. Supp. 246 (D.D.C. 1985); In the Matter of Jesus del Carmen Medina, Immigration Court for Harlingen Texas, Case # 26 949 415 (1985); and In the Matter of Santos-Gomez, Immigration Court for Washington, D.C., Case #A29564-781, 785, 801 (1990).
10. I have represented human rights and humanitarian law concerns at the United Nations since 1982, representing International Education Development, Disabled Peoples' International, Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund and Human Rights Advocates -- all organizations with consultative status. I have represented Disabled Peoples' International, the Federation International des Droits de l'Homme (Paris), Chile Humanitarian Aid, the Humanitarian Law Project/International Educational Development, and the Confederation de Nacionalidades Indigenas de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana on behalf of the Huaorani Nation at the Organization of American States.
11. I was a consulting attorney (pro bono) to Mr. Gervase Coles, then Chief Legal Council, Office of Protection, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, from 1983-1986.
12. My practice also involves representation before domestic tribunals in the United States and other countries. Additionally, I carry out investigative missions. In recent years I have visited Pakistan, Norway, Canada, France, Japan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Nicaragua, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I have sent investigators to Kashmir, China, Burma, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. I write reports of investigations as well as articles for publication in American and foreign law and professional journals. I have written more than forty statements published by the United Nations. (See attached publications list).
13. I have given lectures or classes on international law at many law schools, including the law schools at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles, Hastings College of the Law, the University of San Francisco, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, the New College of the Law, Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, Illinois State University, the University of Denver, Washington University, the University of Iowa, Drake University, American University, Franklin Pierce University, Southern Illinois University, the University of San Diego, the University of Arizona, the University of New Mexico, Arizona State University, John Marshall College of Law, Loyola (Los Angeles), the University of Southern California. I have also given several hundred lectures at community forums and universities in nearly thirty states.
14. I am considered an expert on the international law principle of non-refoulement. In January, 1984 I was asked to participate in a Colloque at the Asemblee National of France where I delivered a paper on non-refoulement (published in the United States as Geneva Convention Protection of Salvadoran Refugees: An International Law Defense Against Deportation and a Justification for Sanctuary, 13 Imm. News 1 (1984)). This was the first time these issues had been set out in American publications. A number of my other publications discuss aspects of the principle of non-refoulement and I have been asked to present these issues to Congress, in a number of United States judicial proceedings and at the United Nations.
15. I have been invited to brief members of Congress a number of times on Pakistan (especially the Ahmadi question), Sri Lanka, Central America, refugee law, non-refoulement, humanitarian law, humanitarian aid, human rights and the International Court of Justice. I have submitted written testimony at Congressional hearings. (See attached publications list). I have also consulted with officials of the Canadian government on human rights issues, including those at issue in this case.
16. I began addressing the situation of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan in 1984, when in August of that year Mme Elizabeth Odio Benito, then the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Sub- Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, showed me a copy of Ordinance XX, promulgated April 26, 1984 by President and Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan General M. Zia-ul-Haq.
17. In 1985, I worked with the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to bring to its attention the widespread violations of human rights in Pakistan, especially the clear persecution of Ahmadi Muslims. The Sub-Commission agreed, and in its resolution 1985/21, condemned Pakistan for its persecution of Ahmadi Muslims indicated by Ordinance XX and highlighted the risk of a mass exodus of Ahmadi Muslims and others from Pakistan because of that persecution.
18. I undertook a mission of inquiry to Pakistan from April 22 to May 9, 1986 to investigate the situation of Ahmadi Muslims and other human rights concerns. On that trip I met with President General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq; Zain Noorani, then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Munir Akram, then Director General for United Nations Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Benazir Bhutto; American Ambassador Deane Hinton; members of the diplomatic missions from Germany, Argentina, Canada and the United Kingdom; retired Chief Justice of the Pakistan Supreme Court Dorab Patel; several other retired justices of the Supreme Court and High Courts; political leaders; attorneys; journalists; scholars; Islamic theologians; members of non-Islamic religious groups; the families of jailed Ahmadis; former political prisoners and their families and literally hundreds of Pakistanis from all walks of life. I visited major cities and numerous small towns and villages, including Rabweh, the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. For a more complete report of this mission see my report Human Rights in Pakistan.
19. I have maintained contact with many Pakistanis involved in the Ahmadi issue ever since my visit to Pakistan. I am in regular contact with current Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, primarily through her representatives at United Nations forums but also by direct correspondence between us. In addition to twice-yearly meetings with Pakistan's United Nations delegations at the United Nations Center for Human Rights in Geneva, on October 17, 1995 I met with members of the Pakistani legislature as well as leading Ambassadors and political figures. I have also maintained contact and had meetings with Justice Dorab Patel, leading human rights activists and attorneys in Pakistan, the leader of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam Mirza Tahir Ahmad, other Ahmadi leaders and many individual Ahmadis.
PERSECUTION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST AHMADI MUSLIMS RAMPANT IN PAKISTAN
20. In my opinion widespread and insidious persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan continues unabated in spite of the intentions of the Bhutto administration to end it. In addition, there is indisputable finding of torture and other severe mistreatment of prisoners, including persons held under the anti- Ahmadi laws, in Pakistan.
21. Persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan began in ernest when General Zia-ul-Haq promulgated the anti-Ahmadi Ordinance XX of 1984 making the religious practices of Ahmadi Muslims illegal and proscribing jail sentences and property confiscation of violators of that ordinance. As can be seen by the language of the Ordinance it constitutes per se persecution. This Ordinance continues to be in force and is enforced in Pakistan today.
22. General Zia-ul-Haq generated a climate of intense hostility towards Ahmadi Muslims that also continues today. During the 11 years of the Zia one-man-band regime (General Zia personally functioned as the executive, the legislature and because he was Chief Martial Law Administrator as the holder of final judicial review in all legal actions) General Zia singled out Ahmadis in an open and vicious hate campaign of persecution. He and members of his administration made numerous public speeches urging Pakistanis to seek out, expose and even to kill Ahmadis. One such speech was broadcast on television when I was in Pakistan: in that broadcast one of Zia's Ministers urged Pakistanis that it was their sacred duty to eliminate Ahmadis. On May 5, 1986, I had a meeting with General Zia at which he declared "Ahmadis are heretics and they offend me. I have a sacred duty to Allah to rid Pakistan of these impostors. I intend to drive them out." At the same meeting, in discussion the United Nations Sub-Commission resolution 1985/21, General Zia told me "Ordinance XX may violate human rights but I don't care."
23. General Zia compounded the problem inherent in Ordinance XX by incorporating Ordinance XX into the Pakistan Constitution by way of the Constitution (8th Amendment) Act of November 11, 1985. Other ordinances, including blasphemy laws, were also then enacted compounding the difficulties for Ahmadis by adding the death sentence (men) or life imprisonment (women) to the sentences proscribed under Ordinance XX. General Zia-ul-Haq's frequent public declarations that Ahmadi religious practices are per se blasphemous have been publicly and repeatedly echoed by the judicial system, by police, by many non-Ahmadi Muslim clerics, and by the community at large.
24. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto told me in a meeting before she was elected that she recognized the persecution and violation of human rights inherent in Ordinance XX and that when she became Prime Minister she would seek to end official persecution as well as to quiet the rampant private persecution led by powerful and very vocal mullahs of other Islamic sects. Shortly after she became Prime Minister she named Ahmadis to some government posts and began to try to annul the Constitution (8th Amendment) Act. The conservative mullahs retaliated by initiating the Rushdie affair. (Contrary to the understanding of many Americans, the Rushdie affair did not begin in Iran but rather Pakistan). These conservative mullahs used the Rushdie affair to foment increased anti-Ahmadi/anti-blasphemy fervor and to force Ms. Bhutto and others bent on reform to back away. Ms. Bhutto subsequently was driven from power after about 18 months in office.
25. When Ms. Bhutto regained her office several years later, she proceeded more cautiously on the Ahmadi issue and related issues of religious persecution. She has still been unable to muster sufficient power to rescind the Zia ordinances, as I have verified in recent conversations (August and October 1995) with members of the Pakistan legislature. Mr. Justice Patel told me at the 1990 session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, where he represented Pakistan, that he refused to defend Pakistan on the Ahmadi issue. He said: "all the world can see the rampant persecution and it does neither me nor the government any good to pretend what is so is not."
26. Events in the past few years in Pakistan verify that rampant persecution and official incitement of persecution continues today, even by the judiciary. The Ahmadi community in Pakistan has diligently and eloquently sought to use legal recourse to nullify Ordinance XX. However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in a shocking decision of July 3, 1993, upheld its constitutionality. I hereby incorporate into this statement my commentary on this case Religious Persecution in Pakistan: the Ahmadi Case at the Supreme Court (attached). Because of this case, Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan have no legal recourse to the persecution against them. The Ahmadi Case is especially revealing of the serious threat to the lives and safety of Ahmadis in Pakistan. For example, the justices ask: "Can anyone blame a Muslim if he loses control of himself on hearing, reading or seeing such blasphemous material as has been produced by Mirza Sahib." The Ahmadi Case, Slip op. at para. 84. The justices then liken Ahmadis to Rushdie and remind us all that of course Muslims must be infuriated by any Ahmadi show of their faith and that there will be "serious cause for disturbance of the public peace, order, tranquility and it may result in loss of life or property." Id. at para. 85 (emphasis added).
27. Since the Ahmadi Case, brutal murders and other acts of violence against Ahmadis in all walks of life have escalated. My information concurs with that of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance, who reports in his 1995 report to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights that "persecution of the Ahmadi community has reportedly increased considerably." Abdelfattah Amor, Report [of the] Special Rapporteur, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1995/91 at p. 67. He indicates that the Ahmadi community in Lahore was attacked 13 times in a three month period, with two deaths and 10 serious injuries. Id. He also reports on the fact that Ahmadis are often beaten and handed over to police. Id.
28. One murder victim of the Lahore attacks, the son of the leading Ahmadi Amir in the Punjab, was personally known to me. I had met him on visits with his father and mother during my visit to Pakistan. I sent a personal note to Prime Minister Bhutto regarding that incident and other issues and she sent me personal reply.
29. Mr. Amor also reports that a personal friend and fellow human rights lawyer Ms. Asma Jahangir, Chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and legal defender of Ahmadis, has been targeted with a fatwa (death order) under the blasphemy laws. Id., at p. 66. Other lawyers who defend Ahmadis are at serious risk. Local police often lead the way, as from their point of view Ordinance XX should be enforced rigorously. And because Ahmadis are considered heretic, they have the added burden of the equally draconian blasphemy laws. Anti- Ahmadi mullahs are increasing vocal in their calls to Pakistanis to enforce the death penalties against Ahmadis. Former diplomat Aftab Ahmad Khan, who I know personally and who is a leader of the Ahmadi community in England, maintains that the police and judges are themselves afraid because the power of these mullahs with the people is so strong. Poster campaigns against Ahmadis have sprung up in a number of places, calling for a jihad to the death against Ahmadis.
30. Another recent incident generated considerable interest because the victim has family in Canada. I have looked into this case and it is uncontested that an Ahmadi was beaten and stoned to death outside the courthouse in Peshawar having tried to bring bail for another Ahmadi held in jail there under anti-Ahmadi laws. Two other Ahmadis with him were seriously injured and are in hiding seeking asylum. The Ahmadi who had been arrested apparently has now been moved to a "safer" jail. When he was arrested, the local anti-Ahmadi mullahs had driven a truck through the area denouncing him. There were also posters calling him an infidel and a person who must be killed. There have been dozens of other recent killings of Ahmadis, reported by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (with which I maintain communication) and a number of other human rights organizations including my own.
31. In the past few years more than 2500 Ahmadis have been arrested under Ordinance XX and a number of these defendants have had blasphemy charges added. Recent media attention has been given to the case of 14 year old Salamat Masih, a Christian condemned to death under the blasphemy laws. Master Masih was acquitted on appeal, in part because of international pressure. Similar pressure has not been brought by the international community regarding the hundreds of Ahmadis facing severe penalties as well as the dramatic upsurge in orchestrated acts of murder and violence committed against them.
RESPONDENT ENTITLED TO THE RIGHT OF NON- REFOULEMENT
32. Non-refoulement is a principle of international law which requires holding states to refrain from involuntary repatriation or return of any person to a State where that persons internationally protected rights would be at risk. From the point of view of the person facing return, non- refoulement is a right.
33. The risks to which a person might be subjected and that generates the right to non-refoulement vary. There may be a risk of torture or other gross violations of human rights occurring in the country of return, there may be a risk of persecution, or there may be a risk of serious danger or Geneva Convention violations because there is an armed conflict in the country. Risk of torture or other violations of human rights generates the right to non-refoulement in human rights law; the risk of persecution generates the right to non- refoulement in refugee law; armed conflict generates the right to non-refoulement in treaty-based and customary humanitarian (armed conflict) law. A common misunderstanding is that the principle of refoulement only exists as a result of persecution in the context of refugee law or that the refugee act of 1980 has preempted the application of non- refoulement in all of its aspects, even those unrelated to the refugee law context. While I believe that Respondent may clearly invoke his right to non-refoulement because of persecution, I believe he may also invoke it because of persistent human rights violations in Pakistan. Accordingly, I set out the law of non-refoulement in the human rights context.
NON-REFOULEMENT IN HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
34. The principle of non-refoulement exists as a norm in customary human rights law. In the human rights context, non-refoulement arises when a person faces extradition or deportation or other form of involuntary repatriation to a country where that person's rights under international human rights law would be at risk. Non-refoulement arises in the human rights context from the doctrine of necessity.
35. The international community has affirmed the customary law character of non-refoulement in a human rights context at every recent opportunity to invoke it. Recent reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) apply non-refoulement to dangers to the right to life and security of the person. For example, in 1987 the UNHCR described the right arising in situations where a person fears danger to the right to liberty. Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 42 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 12), U.N. Doc. A/42/12 (1987). Earlier, the UNHCR had stressed that non- refoulement arises in situations where there is fear of danger to life and security due to "unsettling conditions or civil strife." Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 40 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 12), U.N. Doc. A/40/12 (1985).
36. The principle also applies when there is a risk of torture, and is set out in the third article of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in force June 26, 1987, a treaty of the United States:
1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State were there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take in to account all relevant considerations, including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights. (Emphasis added).
NON-REFOULEMENT IS JUS COGENS
37. The principle of non-refoulement, regardless or whether it arises because of international or internal armed conflict, human rights violations or risk of persecution is regarded as a norm of customary international law having the character of jus cogens. The 1984 Declaration of Cartegena, in affirming its applications to persons whose lives are at risk due to generalized violence, violations of human rights or internal armed conflict, concluded " . . . in the present state of international law [non-refoulement] should be acknowledged and observed as a rule of jus cogens. As indicated above, since the Fall of 1985, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has regularly set out that all applications of non-refoulement are norms of jus cogens.
38. The jus cogens character of non- refoulement as it arises in human rights law is reinforced when the prohibition of the threatened violation is itself a norm of jus cogens, as is the case in the law of torture. Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law section 702 (d) and comment n (1987). If it is a violation of jus cogens to torture a person, it is obvious that it would also be a violation of jus cogens to turn a person over to a State that is a torturing State. Recognition of this law resulted in the non-refoulement provision of the Torture Convention.
39. The right to life and the right to freedom from prolonged or arbitrary detention are also recognized as jus cogens. Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law section 702 (d), (e) and comment n. (1987). It is no less a violation of jus cogens for a State to murder or arbitrarily detain someone than it is to turn that person over to a state that may.
PAKISTAN IS A TORTURING COUNTRY AND A COUNTRY WITH A PERSISTENT PATTERN OF OTHER SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
40. Pakistan is a country with widespread unrest and disturbances and a pattern of custodial deaths. The most recent report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on summary execution indicates a number of custodial deaths as well as attacks by others on Ahmadi Muslims and others that are uninvestigated. He says: "The police reportedly failed to provide protection to the members of the [Ahmadi] community or adequately investigate the attacks and, allegedly refused to register complaints by the victim's families and witnesses to the attacks." Bacre Waly Ndiaye, Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1995/61 at p. 78.
41. Serious social unrest exists in Sindh and Punjab, areas with the highest numbers of Ahmadis. While the near-civil war in Sindh primarily centers on the Mohajir issue, the unrest and violence makes the situation of the Ahmadis more difficult.
42. Pakistan is a country with a pattern of torture which is directed, in part, against Ahmadi Muslims. The most recent report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture sets out a number of incidents of torture, including cases involving members of Prime Minister Bhutto's party held by officials in areas where her party was not in control at the time. Nigel Rodley, Report [on Torture], U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1995/34. Other members of prominent political families have been detained and were tortured and/or killed in custody. While the incidents of torture ebb and flow with various figures' political clout, incidents involving Ahmadis continue steadily. Bar fetters continue to be used in Pakistani jails and lashes and other punishments are routine.
43. In conclusion, it is my opinion that Respondent in this proceeding must be granted asylum from Pakistan due to per se persecution of him because he is an Ahmadi Muslim. It is also my opinion that he has a well-founded fear of persecution in Pakistan because he is an Ahmadi Muslim. He also has the right to non-refoulement in both refugee law and human rights law due to a high likelihood of persecution and because Pakistan is a country with a persistent pattern of human rights violations, including arbitrary execution, arbitrary detention and torture. It is my opinion that these applications of non- refoulement are norms of jus cogens. It is my opinion that these applications of jus cogens are binding all tribunals in the United States.
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. Executed in San Francisco, California on this the _____ day of November, 1995.