Pakistan hangs man who was 15 when convicted

2015-06-10 09:55
Pakistani Christian relatives of convicted murderer Aftab Bahadur Masih mourn beside his body after his execution in Lahore. (Arif Ali, AFP)

Pakistani Christian relatives of convicted murderer Aftab Bahadur Masih mourn beside his body after his execution in Lahore. (Arif Ali, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lahore - Pakistan on Wednesday executed a man who was 15 when he was sentenced to death for murder and whose lawyers say was tortured into confessing, in a case that has prompted concern among rights groups and the United Nations.

Aftab Bahadur was sentenced to death for killing three people in 1992 and human rights group Reprieve said two witnesses who implicated Bahadur had since recanted, saying they were tortured.

At the time, the death penalty could be passed on a 15 year old, but the minimum age was raised to 18 in 2000.

Testimony obtained by torture is also inadmissible.

"Aftab Bahadur was hanged at District Jail Lahore on Wednesday at 16:30," a jail official in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore said, declining to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media on the issue.

"Before the hanging, he was crying and saying he was innocent."

The date of birth on Bahadur's birth certificate and national identity card, June 30 1977, is not disputed by Pakistani police or the courts.

A Christian

"Pakistan proceeded with Mr Bahadur's execution despite his having been sentenced to death when he was a child, in violation of both international and Pakistani law," Reprieve said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the moratorium on the death penalty last year, a day after Pakistani Taliban gunmen attacked a school and killed 134 pupils and 19 adults. The killings put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the Islamist insurgency.

In an essay written from jail and published a day before his hanging, Bahadur, a Christian, repeated his assertion that he was innocent.

"But I do not know whether that will make any difference," he wrote. "I have not given up hope, though the night is very dark. It would perhaps have been better not to have to think of what the police did to try to get me to confess falsely to this crime."

On Tuesday, another man whose lawyers say was a child when charged with murder and only confessed after being tortured was handed a reprieve just hours before he was due to be executed, the fourth time his death penalty has been stayed.

Shafqat Hussain's lawyers say he was 14 in 2002 when he was burnt with cigarettes and had his fingernails removed until he confessed to killing a child. Authorities say he was 23 when he was sentenced.

The Supreme Court is due to hear Hussain's appeal on Wednesday.

Read more on:    pakistan

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.