ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-221-2008
5 October 2008
PAKISTAN: A man will be executed despite abolition of death penalty
ISSUES: Death penalty; access to lawyer; administration of justice; rule of law
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
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,
Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, the president of
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
Fax: +92 51 922 1422, 4768/ 920 1893 or 1835
2. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani
Prime Minister House,
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111
3. Mr. Rehman Malik
Advisor for Ministry of Interior
Room No. 404, 4th Floor, R Block,
Fax: +92 51 920 2624
Tel: +92 51 921 2026
4. Mr. Farooq Naik
Minister of Law, Justice and Human Rights
S Block Pakistan Secretariat
Fax: +92 51 920 2628
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
5. Mr. Mian Shahbaz Sharif
Chief Minister of Punjab
Fax: +92 42 5881383
6. Minister of Law
7. Chief Secretary of Government of Punjab
Fax: +92 42 7324489
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (firstname.lastname@example.org)