Tuesday Morning Witnessed Shafqat Hussain Hanging in Karachi Jail

Written by  AFP Tuesday, 04 August 2015 15:25

KARACHI: Murder convict Shafqat Hussain was hanged in the wee hours of Tuesday morning in Karachi Central Jail, media reported.

Hussain was hanged shortly before dawn for killing a seven-year-old boy in 2004, his brother and a prison official told AFP. Authorities allowed Shafqat to meet his family for the last time before he was hanged amid tight security. 

Shafqat Hussain’s parents. PHOTO: AFP

His case drew international attention as his lawyers and family claim he was only 15 at the time of the killing and was tortured into confessing.

Earlier on Monday, the Sindh government had forwarded a request to the federal government seeking to halt Shafqat’s execution. The request was sent by the Sindh Home Department to the Ministry of Interior seeking a probe into this case by the Supreme Court.

United Nations rights experts have said his trial “fell short of international standards” and urged Pakistan to investigate claims he confessed under torture, as well as his age.

Shafqat Hussain’s sister reacts after the news of her brother’s execution. PHOTO: AFP

AJK president urged President Mamnoon Hussain late on Monday to postpone the execution to allow further inquiries, but the hanging went ahead as planned.

“Shafqat Hussain was hanged 10 to 12 minutes before dawn prayers today,” a prison official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He was originally due to face the noose in January but won four stays of execution as his lawyers fought to prove he was under 18 at the time of his offence and could therefore not be executed under Pakistani law.

Shafqat Hussain’s mother after receiving the news of her son’s execution. PHOTO: AFP

A government-ordered probe to determine Hussain’s age, carried out by the Federal Investigation Agency, ruled he was an adult at the time of his conviction.

Pakistan has hanged around 180 convicts since restarting executions in December after Taliban militants massacred more than 150 people at a school, most of them children.

A moratorium on the death penalty had been in force since 2008 and its end angered rights activists and alarmed some foreign countries.

Shafqat, the youngest of seven children, was working as a watchman in Karachi in 2004 when the seven-year-old boy went missing from the neighbourhood.

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