Pakistan executed teen convict Shafqat Hussain despite International pressure on Tuesday morning.
Shafqat Hussain, 24, was hanged till death in Central Jail Karachi before dawn on Tuesday. Earlier, a panel of medical doctors examined his health and declared him well, and his family was allowed to meet him for the last time before midnight. The execution was postponed four times due to legal challenges.
Shafqat was sentenced in 2004 for kidnapping and involuntary manslaughter of a seven-year-old boy. He was only 14 years old when found guilty and he was forced to confess after being tortured by the police officials. Last month, Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) issued fifth death warrant.
His case drew international attention when his lawyer and family claimed the he was only 14 years at the time of the killing. Hussain was working as a watchman in Karachi in 2004 when the seven-year-old boy went missing from the neighborhood.
Human rights activist Amnesty International created uproar in the nation that lead to a number of protests held in the capital to raise awareness about his case. A social media campaign began overnight with the hashtag #SaveShafqat and the case caused unrest in the judicial system.
Due to international pressure, Hussain’s execution on January 19 was postponed for the first time. Recently, Islamabad High Court dismissed Hussain’s plea for a judicial inquiry into his age.
Pakistan government lifted a moratorium on capital punishment following a brutal attack by Taliban militants on Army Public School in Peshawar in December last year. Since then, authorities have executed nearly 200 convicts in prisons across the country. There are more than 8,000 people reported to be awaiting execution.
However, Pakistan’s government believes Hussain was not 14 nor under the age of 18 when found guilty and courts dismissed petitions seeking verification of his age. IMAGE/ AFP