Torture victim sentenced to death aged 14 to be among first executions in Pakistan

December 19, 2014

19 December, 2014

Shafqat Hussain, who was tortured into ‘confessing’ and sentenced to death when he was 14 years old, is set to be among the first executed as Pakistan lifts its moratorium on the death penalty.

The first executions took place today, in Faisalabad.  Shafqat’s family have been told he will face execution on Tuesday 23 December in Karachi.

Although Pakistan’s Prime Minister has said those to be executed will be “terrorists,” Shafqat was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, what the courts described as an accidental death in the course of a kidnapping.  The conviction was based on a forced ‘confession’ extracted from him after nine days of police torture – he was beaten, and the scars are still visible where he was burned with cigarettes.  The case has nothing to do with terrorism.

Commenting, Clive Stafford Smith, Director of legal charity Reprieve, said: “While the slaughter of innocents in Peshawar was utterly reprehensible, it hardly solves the problem to kill someone who had nothing to do with it. Shafqat is facing a death sentence for involuntary manslaughter, based on a ‘confession’ tortured out of him when he was just 14, that he long since recanted.  His execution has been set for Tuesday – meaning there is a real risk Pakistan may execute an innocent in just a few days’ time.  Killing Shafqat on Tuesday merely adds to the death toll.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact donald[DOT]campbell[AT]reprieve[DOT]org[DOT]uk