Reprieve hails commutation of death sentence for Mirza Tahir Hussain

November 16, 2006

Reprieve is delighted with the news that the death sentence for British citizen Mirza Tahir Hussain has been lifted. Tahir has been on Death Row in Pakistan for 18 years for an act he has always maintained he committed in self-defence.

“We are elated at the news that President Musharraf has lifted the death sentence for Tahir Hussain. Tahir has already served 18 years, when he should never have done a day. For justice to truly be served, Tahir must be released immediately. The shadow of the gallows is gone, but until we get confirmation that he has walked out the front door of prison, we will not rest.” Zachary Katznelson, Senior Counsel at Reprieve, stated.

Reprieve has fought for Tahir’s release alongside Tahir’s brother, Amjad Hussain, and various secular and Muslim NGOs. Reprieve Senior Counsel Zachary Katznelson went to Pakistan in October, visiting Tahir on Death Row and lobbying senior officials on his behalf.

“When I met Tahir on Death Row last month, he carried the weight of the sentence with every breath. Today, it seems that weight has finally been lifted. We thank President Musharraf for having the courage to do the right thing. We are grateful to Prime Minister Blair, Prince Charles and all those who have pushed for justice. Most of all, our heartfelt gratitude goes to Amjad Hussain, who has given his entire life over to fighting for his brother. We are in his debt for setting an incredible example for us all. This is his victory.” Reprieve Senior Counsel Zachary Katznelson stated.

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