Islamabad, Pakistan (Reprieve) – The Supreme Court in Pakistan has this afternoon admitted an appeal filed by Shafqat’s legal team and scheduled a hearing on the case for 9am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, four hours after he is scheduled to be executed.
Shafqat was sentenced to death having been tortured into ‘confessing’ while still a child; however, the Pakistan Government has so far refused to carry out a proper investigation into either his age or his mistreatment, despite calls from UN experts and rights NGOs to do so.
Today, the Supreme Court marked the case before the Chief Justice of Pakistan for a hearing at 0900 tomorrow morning, Pakistan time. Although Shafqat is scheduled to be hanged at 0430 Pakistan time, the Supreme Court has not made any moves to stay the execution pending the hearing.
Commenting, Maya Foa, Director of the death penalty team at international human rights charity Reprieve said:
“As it stands, this hearing will obviously come far too late to provide justice for Shafqat. So far, Pakistan’s system has failed him at every turn. He was tortured into ‘confessing’ and sentenced to death when he was under-age, yet there has been no proper investigation into either of these grave injustices – despite calls from the UN and others in the international community. We hope that the Sindh Government or Federal authorities take steps to ensure that Shafqat finally sees justice before it’s too late.”
The Fifth Column editor’s note: Pakistan has recently engaged in a rash of executions that have include hangings and other dated methods of execution. This case of Shafquat in particular has drawn international condemnation from various NGOs based primarily upon the age of the defendant and the likelihood that his confession was obtained through torture. For past coverage of these events, review these previous articles published on The Fifth Column.