Pakistani man given death row reprieve for fourth time

Execution of Pakistani man convicted of manslaughter postponed hours before he was due to be hanged

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A Pakistani man was granted a fourth stay of execution just hours before he was due to be hanged on Tuesday.

Shafqat Hussain's lawyers and human rights activists say he was a child when he was charged with the murder of another child and confessed under torture. It was the fourth time his execution was delayed in Karachi.

Since the start of his trial, Hussain's age has been disputed as his lawyers say he was just 14 when he was arrested in 2004 and tortured in detention until he “confessed” to the murder he was accused of. Pakistani officials say he was 23 when he was sentenced.

Human rights law firm the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), which represents Hussain, says he has gone through a terrible ordeal every time he has prepared for the execution.

"Each time he has to say goodbye to his brothers. He has to go through this over and over again," a spokesman for the firm told Reuters.

JPP, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reprieve and Shafqat’s family have appealed to the Supreme Court and President Mamnoon Hussain to grant him clemency. A group of UN human rights experts have also called for the execution to be halted.

More than 8,000 people are being held on death row in Pakistan and around 150 of them have been executed since mid-December, when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a moratorium on the death penalty after a Taliban attack on a school which killed 154 people.

TRTWorld and agencies