Shafqat's execution stayed for 30 days, jail authorities tell ATC

Published March 24, 2015
Shafqat Hussain was said to be 14 years old at the time of his conviction. - via Justice Project Pakistan
Shafqat Hussain was said to be 14 years old at the time of his conviction. - via Justice Project Pakistan

KARACHI: On directives issued by the Interior Ministry, jail authorities notified an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi on Tuesday that death row prisoner Shafqat Hussain's execution has been halted for 30 days.

Last week, Shafqat's execution was postponed for 72 hours just a few hours before his hanging was scheduled to take place on March 19.

Local media reported that President Mamnoon Hussain had ordered to postpone the hanging of Shafqat Hussain — who was charged with committing a murder at the age of 14. President Mamnoon approved a 30-day reprieve for the death row convict.

Know more: Shafqat Hussain execution stayed for 72 hours

Shafqat was arrested and sentenced to death in 2004 for kidnapping and killing a seven-year-old boy from an apartment building in Karachi where he was working as a guard.

Also read: Despite reprieve, proving Shafqat’s juvenility still an uphill task

A human rights group Reprieve had said that an inquiry will be conducted into his age at the time of conviction and the torture he suffered before ‘confessing’ to the crime.

In a recent speech on the floor of the National Assembly, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had pointed out that Shafqat’s appeals were denied by the high court and Supreme Court. Since the courts have disposed of Shafqat’s case, there is no judicial recourse available for the condemned man.

“We didn’t find his father’s CNIC or his mother’s,” he had announced on the floor of the house.

Manzoor, one of Shafqat’s brothers, had regretted the fact that despite an announcement by the interior minister, no one had contacted the family to verify Shafqat’s age.

Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) Spokesperson Shahab Siddiqi told Dawn they had approached the interior ministry in person as well as written to them several times. The new evidence they seek to introduce to the inquiry includes the CNICs of Shafqat’s entire family, including both his parents; an affidavit from one of Shafqat’s class fellows from childhood and a recently-issued birth certificate from the local government department of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), which puts the year of his birth at 1991.

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