Who is Shafqat, why is he being hanged, and why should we care?

Shafqat Hussain, photo taken before he left Muzaffarabad more than 10 years ago.

Shafqat Hussain, photo taken before he left Muzaffarabad more than 10 years ago.

UPDATE: Jan 01, 2014: Funds urgently needed for Shafqat’s defence. Please click this link for details and see what you or your friends can do. Detailed BBC report Justice at risk as Pakistan rushes convicts to the gallows

This is Shafqat Hussain. A poor boy who was arrested for  kidnapping and murder when he was 14 years old. He confessed to the crime after nine days of police torture (they pulled out three fingernails, the cigarette burn marks are still visible on his body). He has been in Karachi jail for over 10 years now and is on the list of ‘terrorists’ to be hung (his date is set for Tues, Dec 23rd). He comes from a very poor family from Muzaffarabad, had a learning disability, had dropped out of school at grade 4, and run away to Karachi where this happened. He did not get proper defense; the issue of his age wasn’t brought up; an Anti Terrorist Court convicted him of murder and sentenced him to death. Please read and sign this petition to #saveShafqat via Justice Project Pakistan. JPP lead counsel Sarah Belal came across his case in 2009 and has taken it up along with Reprieve and Amnesty International.

Update: Sindh High Court demands to know why Shafqat is on the terrorists’ list.

Read Sarah Belal’s article ‘Who are we hanging?‘ Sharing it on facebook, my friend Zarminae Ansari commented: “This is what I was afraid of all along. They are only to appease the public outrage and shut them up for a while. That the executions wont be of the terrorists, but of others on death row. AND its easy to be on death row in Pakistan, unless you are a terrorist- then you get out on bail.”

Here’s a photo of Shafqat’s mother and brother with JPP’s investigator Yasir Shahbaz (centre) in Muzaffarabad. She must be in her 50s; looks about 80. His father was a farmer, is now paralysed and has gone blind. The brother is the only bread-earner in the family.

Shafqat's mother and brother in AJK with JPP investigator Yasir Shahbaz (centre). She must be in her 50s; looks about 90.

Shafqat’s mother and brother in AJK with JPP investigator Yasir Shahbaz (centre).

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the ipdate on Shafqat, I strongly condemn Shafqat ‘s death sentence , I only recommend death of TTP , SSP, Lashkar e Tayyaba. , Lashkar e Jangvi, and other groups related to organized terrorism sponsored Pakistani or international Mullas.
    May JUSTICE PREVAILS .
    Quratul Ain

    Like

  2. Dont sentence him for a crime that he might have done when he was a minor!!!!

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Journeys to democracy and commented:

    Shafqat is safe… for now. This is the second time he has received a reprieve at the last minute. Kudos to Justice Project Pakistan and everyone who raised their voices and fought to prevent a terrible injustice from taking place. This is just one of many such cases in Pakistan where the justice system leaves much to be desired. That’s one reason I’m against the death penalty. If even one innocent is sent to the gallows, it is too much. There are too many chances of that happening, even in a ‘good’ system.

    Like

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