Shafqat Hussain’s execution called off

Image of a man tying a noose

Shafqat Hussain was due to be hanged in January 2015 in Pakistan, but his execution was called off at the last moment following our campaign to save his life – thank you to everyone who supported Shafqat when he needed it most.

UPDATE: Shafqat was executed on August 4, 2015. Read more here.

ShafqatTime is always of the essence in the days leading up to an execution, but we all acted quickly to save Shafqat’s life. 7,000 of us sent messages to Pakistan’s president demanding that he let Shafqat live, and people from around the world donated to fund our legal action in the courts.

Interior minister Chaudry Nisar said that the execution had been called off following requests by “civil society”. This is a huge victory, and a fantastic example of what we can achieve together.
Shafqat was just 14 years old when he was tortured into making a false confession and sentenced to death. His trial was a farce – his lawyer was so hopeless that he didn’t even work out that Shafqat was a child, and therefore could not be executed.

But the authorities tried to press ahead with the execution regardless, arguing that Shafqat’s case had been handled well enough – two courts had each reached the same wrong decision, and we should all stop complaining.

I think anyone who cares about justice will disagree – and thousands of us made sure that the Pakistani authorities knew it.

This victory could not have come at a better time. Pakistan has the largest death row in the world, and Shafqat’s execution was one of the first scheduled when the government decided to resume hangings after a 6-year moratorium.

After calling off the hanging, the Pakistani government ordered an inquiry into Shafqat’s execution warrant, and why it was allowed. We hope that the action we took to defend Shafqat’s life will have a wider impact on the death penalty in Pakistan, and help to save many more lives.

Read more about Shafqat’s case.

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