Defence for Children International joins Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, REDRESS, Reprieve and Child Rights International Network in denouncing the sentencing and upcoming execution of Shaftaq Hussain, who is due to be hanged tomorrow (9 June 2023).
Shafqat Hussain was arrested and sentenced to death in 2004 for allegedly kidnapping another local child. He described that the police subjected him to torture and forced him to make a “confession” and has always maintained his innocence. According to Mr. Hussain, the torture included brutal beatings with sticks and fists, electroshocks, and being burnt with cigarettes.
At the time of his initial trial in 2004, Mr. Hussain’s lawyer failed to adduce any evidence or call witnesses in his defence and was not able to draw the attention of the court to the fact that Mr. Hussain was under 18 years old at the time of his arrest.
The execution of a juvenile offender and all forms of torture and other ill-treatment are strictly prohibited under both Pakistani and international human rights law. Despite recognition of these domestic and international legal obligations, we deplore that the Shafqat’s juvenility and torture at the time of his arrest have not been fully investigated by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Authority, thus raising serious concerns about the fairness of his trial and resulting conviction.
To continue with Shafqat Hussain’s execution would be in direct contravention of Pakistan’s national and international obligations. We therefore respectfully request Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain to use his power under Article 45 of the Constitution of Pakistan to immediately stay Mr. Hussain’s execution and grant him clemency as requested in his mercy petition.
Read the letter sent to Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain on 7 June 2023 by clicking here.