www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-hikers-letter-20110923,0,6176545.story

baltimoresun.com

Iran hikers freed; others should be, too

8:00 AM EDT, September 25, 2011

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I rejoice with the friends and families of Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal as their ordeal ended in Evin Prison in Iran. As Mr. Bauer said at the Oman Airport, "Two years is too long in a prison. We sincerely hope for the freedom of other political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned people in America and in Iran."

This reminded me of the plight of Ahmadi Muslims, hundreds of whom are behind bars under Pakistan's Anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX issued in 1984. It imposes three years imprisonment for simple acts like calling places of worship mosques, performing the Muslim call to prayer, using the traditional Islamic greeting in public, or even publishing religious materials.

Mr. Bauer is right. Two years is too long in prison. That's why as an Ahmadi Muslim American, I urge my government to rein in Pakistan to abolish such barbaric laws. Only then we may see all such "unjustly imprisoned people" sprinting down the steps of oppression into the embrace of their families.

Aasilah Loan, Baltimore