PAKISTAN: TWO DEATH ROW PRISONERS SAVED FROM GALLOWS
January 8, 2015: between 6 and 8 January, Pakistan stopped the execution of two death row inmates scheduled to be executed after the government ended its moratorium on the death penalty in terrorism cases following the 16 December attack on an army school in Peshawar.
On 6 January, Pakistan‚Äôs Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar stopped the execution of a juvenile offender that was scheduled for 14 January. Shafqat Hussain, 23, was convicted of the 2004 murder of a seven-year-old boy when he was just 15-years-old. Rights groups and some members of parliament have campaigned in support of Hussain and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar called off the execution and ordered an inquiry. Hussain was convicted by an anti-terrorism court ‚Äď not in a juvenile court despite his age ‚Äď and handed the death penalty. The case went to appeal but Hussain's age was not seen as any reason to overturn the sentence, despite the fact that the death penalty cannot be imposed on minors in Pakistan.
On 8 January 2015, death row convict Akramul Haq alias Aka Lahori‚Äôs execution was stopped when the complainant family agreed to pardon him. The prisoner involved in the murder of Nayyar Abbas in Shorkot area in 2001 was sentenced to death in 2004 by an anti-terrorism court in Faisalabad. He was scheduled to be executed in the morning at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore but the respondents submitted the pardon accord to the magistrate hours before the scheduled time of execution. (Sources: AFP, 06/01/2015; dailytimes.com.pk, 08/01/2015)