Short Documentary Film – #2 – Executed Juvenile Death Row Prisoner Shafqat Hussain

 

#BringItBack – Shafqat Hussain

If you were being tortured, would you say anything to make it stop?Shafqat Hussain was beaten, burnt with cigarettes, electrocuted through his own urine and had his nails pulled out. The police detained him illegally for 40 days without charge until they coerced a false confession from him. This formed the sole basis for his conviction. He was executed on Aug. 4, 2015 after spending nearly half his life on death row. His family has been destroyed. This is their story. If you are against torture, join us in our call to restore the moratorium on the death penalty. #BringItBack

Posted by Justice Project Pakistan on Monday, April 17, 2017

Shafqat Hussain was arrested and sentenced to death in 2004. According to Shafqat’s family, he was 14 years old at the time of his offence. Shafqat was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the kidnap of a child, who lived in a building where he worked as a guard and caretaker. Upon arrest he has subjected to brutal torture to get him to confess to the crime, of which he has always maintained he is completely innocent. Shafqat has described torture including brutal beatings with sticks and fists, electrocution, and being burnt with cigarettes by police.

Shafqat was convicted and sentenced to death on 1st September 2004. His appeal to the Sindh High Court was decided on 15th May 2006. In the course of this appeal, the High Court confirmed that Shafqat’s “confession” which he has always maintained was extracted through torture, was the primary basis for his conviction. Shafqat made a further appeal to the Supreme Court but the appeal was rejected on 8th October 2007. A review petition requesting review of the case on the basis of Shafqat’s age at the time of the conviction was then submitted, but this was dismissed by the Supreme Court as having been raised out of time in an order dated 18th December 2007.

Following the resumption of executions in Pakistan, Shafqat was issued with a warrant for execution on January 13th 2015. In the face of international outcry about the case, Shafqat’s execution was halted by Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar on

5th January 2015. In an announcement in parliament, Chaudhry Nisar cited information of Shafqat’s juvenility provided by civil society as reason for the stay. He also announced that an investigation would be conducted to verify Shafqat’s age. But no investigation into the case was conducted, but a new warrant for Shafqat’s execution was nonetheless issued and Shafqat was scheduled to be hanged on 19th March 2015. Following the efforts of Shafqat’s legal team, and interventions from the UN Special Procedures and others, Shafqat’s execution was once again stayed just hours before the execution was due to take place. Following the stay of execution, the Ministry of Interior appointed a three member investigation team from the Federal Investigation Authority to investigate the circumstances of the case. On 20th April 2015 it was announced to the media that this inquiry had concluded, and that based primarily on the trial records, it had found that Shafqat had not been a juvenile at the time of his alleged offence. Shaft was eventually executed on 4th August 2015.

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