British woman facing death penalty in Pakistan gives birth to baby girl

October 29, 2012

A British facing the death penalty in Pakistan is being held in prison along with her newborn daughter.

Khadija Shah, 25, is being held in Adiala prison near Islamabad along with her baby girl, Malaika. Ms Shah, from Birmingham, was returned to prison after giving birth, despite grave fears for the health of the baby in Adiala’s unsanitary conditions.

Baby Malaika has so far had none of her immunisations. She was taken to hospital when she was just a few days old because of severe diarrhoea and placed on a drip.

Adiala prison is known for its dangerously ‘unhygienic conditions’ including an outbreak of deadly TB, as was revealed in a report on the jail. Khadija is accused of drug offences and could face the death penalty if convicted. She has so far been denied bail.

Reprieve investigator, Sultana Noon, said: “To keep a baby behind bars is truly barbaric. Baby Malaika is weak and suffering from terrible health problems while Khadija faces execution. No mother would wish this scenario on their worst enemy. The British government must do everything they can to help Khadija so that baby Malaika can get the care every newborn deserves.”

Khadija’s sister, who does not wish to be named, said: “Khadija is taken to the court in the early hours of the morning with Malaika and left in her holding cell till later in the afternoon on the off chance that her court hearing may actually take place. All day, Khadija has to carry Malaika in her arms as she is not given a pushchair or a clean place to put her baby down. Malaika has not been given any immunizations and Khadija feels awful about not being able to protect her daughter from all sorts of diseases.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. For further information contact Clemency Wells or Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s Press Office: 0207 427 1099 / 1082 or clemency.wells@reprieve.org.uk / Donald.campbell@reprieve.org.uk

2. Reports of Adiala Jail’s “unhygienic conditions” this week revealed that over 100 prisoners are now suffering from TB, following a recent outbreak: ‘TB cases rising among Adiala Jail inmates,’ The Nation, 14 August 2012: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/14-Aug-2012/tb-cases-rising-among-adiala-jail-inmates