Muhammad Anwar was arrested in 1993 when he was just 17 years old. He was sentenced to death five years later by a Sessions court in Vehari, Pakistan, in 1998.
“Muhammad and his family have spent years trying to get someone to take a proper look at the evidence of his juvenility. The bottom line is that he simply should not be facing execution under either Pakistani or international law. However, he has been the victim of bureaucratic incompetence by the Pakistani Government, and as a result his case has fallen between the cracks. The Supreme Court now has the chance to correct this historic wrong and commute his sentence.”
Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve’s Death Penalty Team
Muhammad has now spent almost 23 years facing execution. Since 2001 his family have made numerous attempts to get the authorities to recognise his status as a juvenile and commute his death sentence but his case has continually fallen between the cracks in Pakistan’s death penalty system.
On 12th December 2015 a warrant scheduling Muhammad’s execution for 19th December was issued, despite the fact that proceedings relating to Muhammad’s juvenility were pending before the Multan Bench of the Lahore High Court. On 18th December the execution was stayed at the very last minute by the High Court. Despite the clear illegality of his execution, Muhammad came within hours of being hanged. If litigation his behalf now pending before the Supreme Courtis unsuccessful before then, a fresh warrant for Muhammad’s execution could be issued.
Judges will tomorrow [Wednesday 8 June] consider the case of a prisoner who could be hanged at as little as three days’ notice, despite evidence that he was arrested as a child.
Pakistan has executed over 400 people since resuming hangings in December 2014, according to new research from international human rights organization Reprieve.
Judges will tomorrow [Thursday 19 May] consider the case of a prisoner who could be hanged at as little as three days’ notice, despite evidence that he was arrested as a child.