It is unfortunate that how even United Nations Offices in Geneva were made to issue warnings to Pakistan for executing Children. Little did these NGO’s realized or perhaps little did they care that how their false planting of information to bring pressure upon state of Pakistan leads to demonizing Pakistan and forces people world wide to see Pakistan in a negative light. The minimum govt needs to do is investigate who created all this story of “Shafqat Hussain being 14” at the time of conviction. If the govt failed to check the activities of these NGO’s at this stage, if Govt failed to raise questions and continued to cave in then they will be emboldened to attack even more…
Read this United Nations Advisory from Geneva..
20 March 2015 – A group of independent United Nations human rights experts welcomed the last-minute decision by the Pakistani authorities to postpone the hanging of Shafqat Hussain, who was convicted as a minor, while calling on them to halt the execution altogether.
Mr. Hussein, who was convicted and sentenced to death for kidnapping and involuntary manslaughter, was due to be hanged on Thursday, but the authorities decided just hours before to grant a stay of execution, according to a news release issued by the experts.
The authorities also announced an inquiry into his age at the time he was convicted, and on the alleged torture he suffered during his interrogation. Mr. Hussain was 14 years old when he was arrested in connection with the disappearance of a young boy. His confessions were obtained after he was reportedly tortured over nine days by police officers after his arrest in 2004.
“We welcome the decision delaying Mr. Hussain’s execution, but we continue to call on the Pakistani authorities definitively to halt his execution,” said the experts, which include Christof Heyns, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Juan E. Méndez, the Special Rapporteur on torture; and Kirsten Sandberg, the current Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Child.
“Putting him through the ongoing agony of not knowing whether he may be executed in the next few days is cruel and one cannot help but wonder why a – seemingly – rushed inquiry into his age is only now being conducted,” they noted. “Pakistan should carry out serious investigations into all cases of children in death row across the country.”
According to human rights groups, more than 8,000 people are on death row in Pakistan. Out of this number, several hundred may have been sentenced for crimes they committed as children.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the experts noted, guarantees the inherent right of every child to life, and provides that neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by minors.
“This execution, if carried out, will be clearly contrary to the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture, which Pakistan has accepted as binging law,” the experts stressed.
Since reversing the death penalty moratorium in December 2014, 48 people have been executed across Pakistan.
“We reiterate our recommendation to the Government of Pakistan reinstate the death penalty moratorium. In the meanwhile, it would be a blot on the name of the country to execute Shafqat Hussein or anyone else who are accused of having committed a crime as a juvenile,” said the experts.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue. UN urges Pakistan to reinstate suspension of death penalty.
Moeed Pirzada is prominent TV Anchor & commentator; he studied international relations at Columbia Univ, New York and law at London School of Economics. Twitter: MoeedNj. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy. This piece was first published in Moeed Pirzada’s official page. It has been reproduced with permission.