Pakistan delays execution of youth arrested at 14; 4 others hanged
In this March 14, 2015 photo, Makhni Begum holds a photograph of her son Shafqat Hussain who who was sentenced to death, in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo)
Pakistan today hanged four death row prisoners, including two brothers, while postponed the execution of a man whose family alleged he was 14 at the time of crime and his confession was extracted through torture.
Three prisoners were executed in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail while another was hanged to death in Mianwali jail.
The two brothers – Mohammad Asghar and Ghulam Mohammad – had been awarded the death penalty by a district and sessions judge for killing two of their relatives in 1996. Third person Gulistan Zaman was hanged for killing a man in 1998.
Another death row convict, Abdul Sattar, was executed in Mianwali Jail. Sattar was sentenced to death for killing a man over a personal feud in 1992.
The execution of four death row prisoners took the number of prisoners hanged across the country to 54, after the deadly Taliban attack on an army run school on December 16, 2014.
Meanwhile, the execution of Shafqat Hussain has been postponed for 72 hours just a few hours before his hanging was scheduled to take place this morning.
Hussain was convicted by an anti-terrorism court for kidnapping and killing a 7-year-old body.
Rights bodies allege that Hussain was just 14 at the time of crime in 2004 and he was tortured to confess the killing, while the jail record showed him as 23.
His family has urged the President to postpone the hanging who in an overnight decision delayed the execution for 72 hours to let the authorities investigate the allegations, an official of interior ministry said.
Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said on Tuesday that he would ask the government to postpone his death if any credible document was provided to prove that Hussain was a minor at the time of conviction.
Under Pakistan laws, anyone below 18 years can be given maximum life imprisonment. There are more than 8,000 death row prisoners in the country.
Initially executions were limited to terrorism offences but on March 10 government decided to all capital offences.
Source:: Indian Express