Shafqat Hussain dressed in white for hanging before last-minute stay

Human rights group Reprieve says an inquiry would be conducted into Hussain's age at the time of conviction


Reuters/reuters March 19, 2015
Human rights group Reprieve says an inquiry would be conducted into Hussain's age at the time of conviction. PHOTO: JPP.ORG.PK

ISLAMABAD: Shafqat Hussain, charged as a child with murder, was dressed in a white uniform, ready for hanging, and told to write his will before the execution was postponed, his family said on Thursday.

Hussain's lawyers say he was just 14 in 2004 when he was burnt with cigarettes and had fingernails removed until he confessed to the killing of a child, a case that has angered rights groups and prompted mercy appeals from his family.

Hussain's hanging was postponed indefinitely, his brother, Gul Zaman, told Reuters.

Read: Shafqat Hussain's execution halted for 30 days

"We were awake all night and praying to God," Hussain's mother, Makhani Begum, told Reuters on Thursday. "There was no hope that we would ever see him alive again, but thanks to Allah, who saved my little child from this brutal punishment."

The human rights group Reprieve said an inquiry would be conducted into Hussain's age at the time of conviction and the torture he suffered before "confessing" to the crime, according to media reports.

Zaman said he was with his brother when he was prepared for execution.

Read: Pakistan's moral catastrophe -- don't execute Shafqat

"They dressed him up in white uniform for the execution," he said. "Then they asked him to write his last will. He wrote: 'I am innocent. They want to hang me for a crime I have not committed, to save others who have been freed'."

Pakistan on Wednesday hanged nine people, taking to 21 the number of executions in two days, for a tally of 48 since an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in December. Twelve were executed on Tuesday.

The death sentence cannot be used against a defendant under 18 at the time of the crime. Testimony obtained by torture is also inadmissible.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the moratorium on December 17, a day after Pakistani Taliban gunmen attacked a school and killed 134 pupils and 19 adults.

COMMENTS (7)

Arshad Farooqui | 6 years ago | Reply Shafqat Hussain wrote his will that he was innocent, he was tortured to confess the crime which did not commit, hanging is unfair. Pakistani police is well famous of torture and prisnor will confess the crime to save himself for further torture. We daily on tely that Police start beating the suspects in front of public and cameras. This type of punishment should be stopped and train Pakistani police to behave humanly in public places. Although police are also crupt in our country but no no Govt tried to reform British Raj police.
Shamshair Balauch | 6 years ago | Reply Shafqat was employed as a security gaurd of the same building, in which a kid of seven years, lived, whom he abducted and killed. How can a 14 year boy be recruited as a security gaurd??? One who takes life of other human being has no right to live.
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