A heavily pregnant British woman is being denied bail in Pakistan, and faces giving birth in prison in around a month’s time as a result.
Khadija Shah, who is from Birmingham, is still being held in Adiala jail near Islamabad, although she is due to give birth in mid-September. She is accused of drug offences which could see her facing the death penalty if convicted.
Khadija has so far been denied bail, and according to a letter from the British High Commission, prison authorities have confirmed that she will not be allowed out to give birth unless complications arise. Khadija is not receiving adequate antenatal care in the prison, which this week saw an outbreak of tuberculosis as a result of poor hygiene conditions.
She will appeal against the bail decision in a hearing in Islamabad tomorrow (Thursday 16 August).
Reprieve’s Sarah Belal, who is representing Khadija said: “It is shocking that Kahdija Shah is still being held in prison, without adequate medical care, so close to giving birth. But it is beyond belief that the jail is currently insisting that they will not let her out even to have her baby. The courts must grant Khadija bail – otherwise, they are putting the lives of her and her child at risk.”
Notes to editors
1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office on +44 (0) 207 427 1082 or Sarah Belal on +92 321 844 9932
2. Reports of Adiala Jail’s “unhygienic conditions” this week revealed that over 100 prisoners are now suffering from TB, following a recent outbreak: ‘TB cases rising among Adiala Jail inmates,’ The Nation, 14 August 2012: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/14-Aug-2012/tb-cases-rising-among-adiala-jail-inmates