Pakistan/UK: Leeds man on Death Row in Pakistan - new stay of execution to 1 October prolongs agony

Reacting to confirmation on the 16th of August from the British High Commission in Pakistan that 36-year-old Leeds man Mirza Tahir Hussain has been granted a further one month stay of execution to 1 October, his brother Amjad Hussain said:

“While this further stay of one month gives me and my family a little relief, it is not enough and in many ways it is extending the uncertainty and agony my brother and all of us have now lived with for 18 years.

“We did not ask for this stay. It shows that my brother’s case has got the attention of the Pakistan authorities, but it seems they are still undecided as to whether President Musharraf will step in and stop an innocent man being executed or whether they will let this barbaric punishment go ahead.

“My brother did not commit the crime of murder that he has been convicted of. His trial was unfair and his detention in Pakistan for the last 18 years has destroyed all our lives. Tony Blair must intervene directly now, and I implore President Musharraf to end our agony and commute the sentence immediately.”

Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director Tim Hancock added:

“This stay is not enough. It does not address the facts that there are serious doubts about the safety of Mirza Tahir Hussain’s conviction and that he still faces execution in a matter of weeks.

“We will continue to press the Pakistani authorities, for as long as it takes, until we know that Mirza Tahir Hussain will not, at any time, be executed. And we expect the UK Government to do the same.”

Background

Mirza Tahir Hussain was sentenced to death in Pakistan in 1989 for the murder of a local taxi driver. He alleges the driver attempted to assault him and that he killed the man in self-defence. An execution warrant was issued on 20 July 2006 saying that Mirza Tahir Hussain is to be hanged on Thursday 3 August.

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