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Pak postpones execution of man convicted as teen

Posted in S. Asia

Published on March 20, 2015 with No Comments


Pakistan`s president has postponed an execution scheduled for Thursday of a death row prisoner condemned as a teenager after appeals by human rights groups for a review of his case, officials said.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain signed the order late Wednesday after a furore on leading private news television channel talk shows.

An anti-terrorism court in Karachi last week ordered that Shafqat Hussain, convicted of killing a seven-year-old boy in 2004, be hanged on March 19.

Hussain`s case has triggered outrage from rights campaigners, who complain he did not get a fair trial and was only 15 at the time of the killing.

A few days later the boy`s family received calls from Hussain`s mobile demanding a ransom of half a million rupees , according to legal papers.

Hussain was arrested and during his first interrogation admitted kidnapping and killing Umair, whose body was found in a plastic bag in a stream.

Hussain later withdrew his confession, saying he had made it under duress, but the case came before an anti-terrorism court which sentenced him to death.

Hussain had been due to face the noose on January 14 but the government halted the execution amid protests about his age, and ordered an investigation.

Reintroducing the death penalty was part of Pakistan`s move to step up the fight against militants since a Taliban massacre at a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December.

So far 48 convicts have been hanged to death.




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