Millennium Post

Death row convict’s mom appeals to Pak govt to spare his life

Death row convict’s mom appeals to Pak govt to spare his life
An anti-terrorism court in Karachi on Thursday ordered to hang Shafqat Hussain on March 19 for killing a seven-year-old boy in 2004. The convict was only 14 at the time of comitting the crime and his case has created a debate about the juvenile criminal system in Pakistan.

Hussain’s mother Makhni Begum met him last time in jail in 2005 and now has asked the court to stay his execution.

“It was my last desire to see my son but now this hope is also dying. Now I am pleading with God for my son’s life,” she told media.

Youngest of the seven siblings, Hussain worked as a watchman in the city where he had gone to earn a living for his impoverish family living near Muzaffarabad.

He was alleged involved in the kidnapping of a minor for ransom whom he killed and confessed the crime in police custody.

Later he retracted the confession but of no avail as anti-terror court convicted him for murder.

His hanging was earlier delayed in January due to outcry by right organisations as he was a minor at the time of crime and should not have been given death sentence.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has also called upon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to intervene to spare Hussain’s life. In a letter to the PM, HRCP stated that in January, the interior minister had intervened to halt Hussain’s execution and stated in parliament that the government had arrived at the decision after receiving information regarding issues around his case.

The HRCP also pointed out that Hussain’s conviction was in violation of Pakistan’s obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which prohibited state parties from imposing the capital punishment for offences supposedly committed by a person below eighteen years of age.

The HRCP asked the government to immediately halt Hussain’s execution and inquire into his case as promised, in order to pave way for him to be reunited with his family.

Pakistan lifted its moratorium on the death penalty in all capital cases, after initially restarting executions for terrorism offences in the wake of attack by Taliban on the Army Public school in Peshawar. About 27 convicts have been hanged, including two in Faisalabad on Friday.


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