Pakistan Court Postpones for Fourth Time
A Pakistani man who was due to be hanged on charges of manslaughter has had his execution postponed for a fourth time.
Shafqat Hussain, who had been found guilty of kidnapping and killing a child in 2004, was supposed to be hanged this morning, however, according to police officials, he has been given a stay of execution.
Mr Hussain’s legal team has said he had been 14 when charged and was tortured into confessing. However, Pakistani officials have said he had been 23 at the time. His lawyers say he was 14 when he was charged, and was tortured into making a confession.
The authorities however say he was 23 at the time of his sentencing.
Rights groups have petitioned the Pakistani authorities throughout the past week, calling for the execution to be halted.
The latest delay follows the supreme court’s decision to set up a three-judge bench to scrutinise a case that no other court has been prepared to throw out.
A spokeswoman for the charity Reprieve told the BBC that both the president and the Supreme Court had been intensely lobbied before the latest stay of execution.
Charity Reprieve, who has taken on Shafqat’s case, has said, “Ten years later, Shafqat still bears the physical and psychological scars from the torture. The execution of a juvenile offender is strictly prohibited under both Pakistani and international human rights law.”