Khadija Shah Sentenced to Life in Prison
A woman from Birmingham has been sentenced to life in a “notorious” Pakistani prison after being found guilty of smuggling 63kg of heroin.
Khadija Shah, 26 from Small Heath, had been arrested at Islamabad airport as she tried to board a flight back to Birmingham with her children after a family holiday. At the time she had been six months pregnant with a baby daughter – whom she gave birth to whilst in prison.
She was charged with smuggling the heroin, which was valued at £3 million, even though she denied all charges against her.
The mother-of-three said she agreed to take the suitcases “as a favour for men she had only recently met”; she also admitted that she did not know what was inside the suitcases.
Shah gave birth to her daughter, Malaika, in October 2012. 17 months later the child shares the same jail cell as her mother whilst her siblings, Ibrahim and Aleesha, have returned to the West Midlands.
Charity, Reprieve has challenged the government’s decision in providing Pakistan with over £5 million in aid after the country’s decision to sentence people to death for non-violent offences.
Reprieve’s Director of Death Penalty team said, “In light of the excessively harsh sentences Pakistan hands down to Vulnerable exploited women such as Khadija, it seems hard to just the millions in aid Britain has contributed to the country’s counter-narcotics operations.”
“This is a terrible outcome for Khadija and her baby Malaika. As happens in hundreds of cases, she was used as a drugs mule without her knowledge, and yet is facing life in a Pakistani prison.”
“The UK government must ensure that Khadija gets the urgent assistance she needs to appeal her sentence so that her baby doesn’t grow up behind bars.”