For Immediate Release
Reprieve's London office can be contacted on: communications [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140. Reprieve US, based in New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org
Man in Line for Execution Tomorrow Not a Terrorist, Admit Pakistan Authorities
LONDON - The Pakistani authorities have admitted that a man set to be hanged tomorrow is not connected to the Peshawar school attack, but said they have no plans to stay his execution.
Shafqat Hussain, from the province of Sindh, was arrested in 2004 at the age of 14. Tortured into a confession, he was eventually convicted of ‘involuntary manslaughter’ in Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Courts, and sentenced to death.
Last week, after the collapse of the country’s six-year moratorium on the death penalty, Mr Hussain’s family were informed he would be executed on Tuesday (23rd).
On Sunday, a senior Pakistani prison official was quoted as saying that Mr Hussain and another man due to be hanged “both […] don’t have affiliations with any banned outfit.” Despite this, the Pakistani authorities have indicated to Mr Hussain’s family that he could still be executed tomorrow – while Pakistan’s interior minister has said that the Government plans to execute 500 more people in the coming week.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Our Summer Campaign Is Underway
Support Common Dreams Today
Independent News and Views Putting People Over Profit
International human rights organisation Reprieve, together with Justice Project Pakistan, has submitted an urgent request to the UN’s human rights body, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, asking for it to intervene to prevent the execution from going ahead.
Pakistan has the largest death row in the world, estimated at over 8000 people.
Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith said: “Killing a man who was arrested as a juvenile and tortured into a ‘confession’ will not bring justice – it will merely add to the tragedy of the Peshawar school attack. This resumption of executions is putting more innocent lives at risk, and gravely threatening Pakistan’s commitment to the rule of law. Even Government officials are now admitting that Shafqat, among others, has nothing to do with terrorism – the authorities must then change course, before it is too late.”
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.