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Islam and Human Rights ( 4 Oct 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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PAKISTAN: A man will be executed despite abolition of death penalty

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-221-2008

5 October 2008
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PAKISTAN: A man will be executed despite abolition of death penalty

ISSUES: Death penalty; access to lawyer; administration of justice; rule of law
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received an appeal about the impending execution of a man which is scheduled to be carried out on October 8. The ‘red warrant’ has been issued after the final appeal for commutation was rejected by the President of Pakistan. His final meeting with his daughters will be held on October 7 at Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, the twin city of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. He was unable to afford a lawyer and it is believed that the case was heard in a biased manner. His wife died during the court proceeding because of blood cancer.

CASE DETAILS: 


According to the information received, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali was arrested on April 14, 1998, on the charge of murder and was kept since then in the Adiala prison, Rawalpindi, Punjab province. Mr. Zulfiqar was the sole bread earner of the family and after his arrest his wife took on casual work as a house maid. The family could not hire any lawyer because of severe poverty. During the entire period of his captivity (10 years) neither the government nor the courts have provided him any assistance to him to fight his case. Subsequently he alone fought his case. Zulfiqar is a poor man who cannot speak English which is the court language so he was already at a disadvantage. His wife, who was suffering from blood cancer died in 2006 and the little money the family had were spent for her treatment. Mr. Zulfiqar has two daughters namely, Ms, Noor Fatima, age 11 years and Fiza Ali, age 10 years, after his execution the girls will be orphaned and have no one to look after them.  

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, the president of Pakistan has rejected the appeal from family of the victim to commute the death sentence in the third week of the September and a red warrant to execute him was issued on September 29. The daughters of the victim appealed to the media and human rights organizations to help them. 

If Mr. Zulfiqar Ali is executed, he would be the fifth execution after the decision of the cabinet to commute death sentences in to life imprisonment. (Please refer to 
AHRC-STM-202-2008) and he will be executed two day before the International Day Against Death Penalty. The president has the authority under Article 245 of the constitution to commute the death sentence. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The federal cabinet decided on July 2, 2008 to commute the death sentence but due to pressure from Muslim fundamentalists and Suo Moto action from Chief Justice, Mr. Abdul Hameed Dogar, appointed by former president General Musharraf during the state of emergency. However, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan has also announced that death sentences will be commuted in his first press conference after taking the oath of president ship. The prime minister also announced on June 21, 2008, that death sentences will be commuted to life imprisonment but he has failed to issue the notification.  

In Pakistan more than 7,300 persons have been on death row for many years, among them are 42 women and two children. The several prisoners facing death sentences in the Adiala prison, Rawalpindi has also appealed to Mr. Asif Zardari, after becoming president of Pakistan, to commute the death sentence. (Please see
 AHRC-STM-221-2008)

The former prime minister and founder of ruling party, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, also commuted the death sentence during his government but was nevertheless hanged by the then military rulers. The wife of the president Asif Zardari and former prime minister, Ms. Benazir Bhutto has pledged several times to abolish the death sentences.  

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write the letter to the given below authorities demanding them to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment and cancel the red warrant of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali who is going to be executed on October 8. Please also urge the government to provide assistance to the girls of victims who facing hard ship after death of their mother.

Please be informed that the AHRC has also written to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary, or summary execution calling for his intervention in this case.

To support this appeal, please click here: 

SAMPLE LETTER:

 

Dear ___________,

PAKISTAN: A man will be executed despite abolition of death penalty


Name of person: Mr. Zulfiqar Ali son of Rasheed Ali Khan, Death Cell, Adiala Prison, Rawalpindi-PAKISTAN

I am very shocked to learn that Mr. Zulfiqar Ali son of Rasheed Ali Khan will be executed by hanging on October 8, 2008. He was never been provided any legal assistance during his whole court proceedings of 10 years. It is very disturbing that a man who is virtually illiterate and without any knowledge of the law has fought his legal battle by himself because he was too poor to hire a lawyer. 

Mr. Zulfiqar’s wife was died due to cancer in 2006. His two minor girls namely Ms, Noor Fatima, age 11 years and Fiza Ali, age 10 years, are surviving on their own as they do not have parents to look after them. 

It is also very shocking that the ruling party who was very much against the death penalty during Musharraf’s rule have allowed five executions within the past three months. More appalling is the fact the president, who made campaign speeches about the death penalty has has rejected the appeal of commutation of Mr. Zulfiqars’ death sentence.  

It is disgraceful that the government, having taken action to commute the death penalty has given in to pressure from Muslim fundamentalists and the Suo Moto action from Chief Justice Mr. Abdul Hameed Dogar, who was appointed by former president General Musharraf during the state of emergency.  

I beg you to commute the death sentence of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali, who has already served ten years in the prison and allow him to provide a good life for his daughters who could not survive after the death of their father.  

I also appeal you to commute the death sentences of more than 7,300 prisoners who are in death row since many years.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari 

President of Pakistan 
President's Secretariat 
Islamabad 
PAKISTAN 
Fax: +92 51 922 1422, 4768/ 920 1893 or 1835

2. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani 
Prime minister 
Prime Minister House,
Islamabad, 
PAKISTAN
 
Fax: +92 51 922 1596 
Tel: +92 51 920 6111 
E-mail: webmaster@infopak.gov.pk

3. Mr. Rehman Malik  
Advisor for Ministry of Interior 
Room No. 404, 4th Floor, R Block, 
Pak Secretariat 
Islamabad 
PAKISTAN 
Fax: +92 51 920 2624 
Tel: +92 51 921 2026 
E-mail: minister@interior.gov.pk

4. Mr. Farooq Naik 
Minister of Law, Justice and Human Rights 
S Block Pakistan Secretariat 
Islamabad 
PAKISTAN 
Fax: +92 51 920 2628 
E-mail: minister@molaw.gov.pk or naelaw786@hotmail.com
 
5. Mr. Mian Shahbaz Sharif 
Chief Minister of Punjab 
H-180 Model Town, Lahore 
PAKISTAN 
Fax: +92 42 5881383 
  
6. Minister of Law 
Government of
Punjab 
Punjab Secretariat 
Ravi Road
 
Lahore
 

 

PAKISTAN 
E-mail: law@punjab.gov.pk
 
7. Chief Secretary of Government of Punjab 
Punjab Secretariat 
Lahore 
PAKISTAN 
Fax: +92 42 7324489 
E-mail: chiefsecy@punjab.gov.pk

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission (
ua@ahrchk.org)


URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-human-rights/pakistan--a-man-will-be-executed-despite-abolition-of-death-penalty/d/850


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