UN specialists urge Pakistan to not execute juveniles

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GENEVA – A gaggle of United Nations human rights specialists* took notice with reduction of the last-minute choice by the Pakistani authorities to postpone for 72 hours the execution of a Shafqat Hussain who was convicted as a minor, and was as a result of be hanged yesterday, however mentioned the issue is way from solved.

Simply hours earlier than Shafqat Hussain’s execution was to happen, Pakistan granted a keep of execution. The authorities additionally introduced an inquiry into his age on the time he was convicted, and on the alleged torture he suffered throughout his interrogation.

“We welcome the choice delaying Mr. Hussain’s execution, however we proceed to name on the Pakistani authorities definitively to halt his execution,” mentioned the UN specialists on arbitrary executions, torture and the Chair of the Committee on the rights of the kid.

“Placing him by way of the continuing agony of not realizing whether or not he could also be executed within the subsequent few days is merciless and one can’t assist however marvel why a – seemingly – rushed inquiry into his age is barely now being performed,” they famous. “Pakistan ought to perform severe investigations into all circumstances of kids in loss of life row throughout the nation.”

Mr. Hussain was 14 years previous when he was arrested in reference to the disappearance of a younger boy. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to loss of life for kidnapping and involuntary manslaughter. His confessions had been obtained after he was reportedly tortured over a interval of 9 days by law enforcement officials after his arrest in 2004.

Based on human rights teams, greater than 8,000 individuals are on loss of life row in Pakistan. Out of this quantity, a number of hundred could have been sentenced for crimes they dedicated as kids. Final week, Muhammad Afza, who reportedly was 16 on the time of the offense, was executed regardless of a number of calls by human rights teams.

“Worldwide legislation, accepted as binding by Pakistan, is obvious: it’s illegal to execute somebody who was underneath 18 years previous after they allegedly dedicated against the law” the human rights specialists said.

The Conference on the Rights of the Little one, the specialists famous, ensures the inherent proper of each little one to life, and offers that neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment with out chance of launch shall be imposed for offences dedicated by minors.

“This execution, if carried out, will probably be clearly opposite to the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the Conference on the Rights of the Little one and the Conference in opposition to Torture, which Pakistan has accepted as binging legislation,” they harassed.

The unbiased specialists deplored that Mr. Hussain additionally reportedly didn’t obtain a good trial on the time. The state-appointed lawyer, as an illustration, by no means raised the truth that he was a juvenile on the time of the alleged offence.

Since reversing the loss of life penalty moratorium in December 2014, 48 folks have been executed throughout the nation. Human rights teams reported that on 18 March, 9 homicide convicts had been executed in six prisons of Pakistan, a day after 12 executions happened, the most important variety of folks executed on the identical day.

“We reiterate our advice to the Authorities of Pakistan reinstate the loss of life penalty moratorium. In the mean time, it could be a blot on the identify of the nation to execute Shafqat Hussein or anybody else who’re accused of getting dedicated against the law as a juvenile,” the human rights specialists harassed.