Execution of Ansar Iqbal
UPDATE: Ansar Iqbal was executed on September 29, 2015. Read about Ansar’s case here.
Ansar Iqbal is scheduled to be hanged in Pakistan in less than 10 hours, despite the fact that the government’s own records show that he was a juvenile at the time of his arrest.
Time is running out to save Ansar Iqbal. All the documentary evidence shows that Ansar was a child when he was arrested – his execution tomorrow morning would be a grave travesty of justice and must be stopped.
73% of Pakistanis were not registered at birth. This means that it is almost impossible to prove the age of most of the 8,000 prisoners on Pakistan’s death row. Many of them may have been arrested and sentenced to death as children, but there is often no way for them to prove it.
Ansar Iqbal, who comes from a poor family, was not registered at birth. At trial, he presented school records and a bay form which showed he was a child of 15 at the time of arrest. The Court dismissed the records. They decided to rely on a guess given by police instead – they guessed he was “22-23”.
This year, Pakistan’s national records agency issued him at last with an official birth certificate. It showed he was born on 25 December 1978, making him 15 at the time of the offence. His birth certificate was sent to the Pakistan Supreme Court, but they ignored it, saying he was ‘out of time’.
Ansar Iqbal was executed on September 29, 2015
Maya Foa, a Director at Reprieve, said:
“The Pakistani authorities have today executed a man who all the evidence suggested was a child at the time of the alleged offence. The government has therefore committed a shocking breach of Pakistani and international law – and it is shameful that, when Iqbal’s life was at stake, the Supreme Court of Pakistan refused to consider critical evidence of juvenility. Before any more prisoners are sent to the gallows, the international community must condemn Iqbal’s execution in the strongest terms, and urge Pakistan to bring this brutal wave of hangings to a halt.”