Don’t Execute Innocent Child in Pakistan


Target: Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan

Goal: Halt execution of man who was tortured into confessing to a crime at 14 years old that he did not commit.

A young man sentenced to death at the age of 14 will soon be executed in Pakistan. Shafqat Hussain was handed the death penalty after confessing to the murder of another young boy in 2004, even though authorities coerced him into confessing by torturing him. While Pakistani law makes executing children illegal, a Karachi judge recently issued an order to proceed with the delayed execution, overturning government pledges to examine the case.

The child, who was from a poor area, moved to Karachi to become a janitor at age 13. One year later, he was apprehended and questioned about the disappearance of another child his apartment complex, and kept in custody for nine days. During this time, Hussain’s defense claims that he was tied up, blindfolded, and beaten by authorities, who intimidated him into signing a confession. He was then tried in a court usually reserved for terrorists, where his age was not considered during his sentencing and he was unable to call defense witnesses.

Hussain’s sentence was delayed for many years under Pakistan’s moratorium on executions, which was recently lifted in response to a terrorist attack on a school which killed over 100 children. Before the moratorium, the country had one of the highest rates of execution in the entire world, outdone only by China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United States. Now Hussain, as well as over 8,000 death row inmates, face imminent execution, including at least one other child offender.

It is barbaric and backward to put someone to death based upon a coerced confession, particularly a child. Even if the youth is guilty, there are several fundamental differences between children and adults that should be taken into account during sentencing, including a youth’s increased chance at rehabilitation. Sign the petition below to demand that Shafqat Hussain’s execution is cancelled and that he is finally given a fair trial.


Dear President Mamnoon Hussain,

Shafqat Hussain, a man arrested at 14 years old and coerced into confessing to a crime, is set to be executed by Pakistani authorities in direct contravention of Pakistani and international law. Though the government promised an inquiry into his case, officials have made no effort to move the investigation forward.

Putting this man to death without a proper trial would be an affront to the justice system. We, the undersigned, demand that his execution is halted and that he is given the fair trial that he has been waiting for for over 10 years.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mark Mongenet via Creative Commons

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  1. Heaven preserve the child – and the rest of the world – from such horrors! My question is : considering he was from a poor area, possibly illiterate as well, how come he was made to sign a document he probably could not even read? Pakistan claims to be a major and advanced country in Asia; supposing the boy had ‘killed’, how come there aren’t any institutions to help him back ‘onto the right path’, for a start?

  2. caryl sawyer says:

    And the UN just slammed the US for giving life sentences to juveniles? What is wrong with this picture? Where is the UN when this sort of ignorant behaviour is going on?

    How much US aid is going to corrupt politicians in Asian countries? Call your congressman!

  3. Bina Pannell says:

    I hate to admit it, but I have family in that ignorant, backward bigoted, blinkered backwater of a country!!!
    There are many people in Pakistan who don’t agree with the goings-on but dare not say anything. It’s time they stopped hiding in their homes and demonstrated very loudly for radical and positive change.

  4. Tortured and then sentenced to death… what kind of world is that? what kind of “people” are these? If I had been told that such things would still be possible in the 21st century when I was a child, I wouldn’t have believed it.

  5. Lorraine Bright says:

    If this happened in 2004 that would make the child about 3 at the time. How can that be right

  6. Harris Wheeler says:

    To even consider this act of barbaric cruelty is UNCONSCIONABLE. No culture (???) should allow such a despicable act of demonic INJUSTICE. Where are the moral, ethical people? This is an outrage. I am sickened and disgusted to think that there even has to be a petition BEGGING this execution to CEASE. I am PRAYING those in authority will DO THE HUMANE THING and NOT EXECUTE this child. I still can’t fathom something like this.

  7. They do not treat woman, animals and now kids properly !!!! They are criminals !!!!! BARBARIC PEOPLE

  8. Johan Krüger Haglert says:

    I want to reply the Facebook woman who says “this child is innocent” that she don’t know that.

    However the stupid comment system don’t allow me too.

    Anyway. Yeah. She don’t know that. He’s not innocent simply because he’s a child or because he’s been treated bad. He _MAY BE_ innocent and have admitted to something he has done. Or he may be guilty.

    Just because someone random on the Internet claim someone is innocent doesn’t make it the truth.

    Some of the cleansing Pakistan go through is likely good.

    (Removed a swear/body part word in case that affect whatever my post is allowed through or not. Dislike censorship and restrictions in freedom of speech.)

    • Do u even understand what ure on about? U sound confused yourself! The point is NO CHILD should be exectuted!!we are in the 21st centuary!!! Hopefully civilized by now!!This young boy should be rehabilitated( if its true at all that he’s committed the crime) not killed!! What if this was your child? Only abbarbaric nation cld allow this to happen!!!by killing him or even agreeing with this just makes u all killers yourself!!!!!!!

    • louise sims says:

      Point.but also he is a child, did he get a fair trial?and no one has the right to kill

  9. I can’t believe that there are still nations who practice this kind of thing!! Time to join the rest of the “civilized” world people! Even if this young man had committed this crime as a child, (which is questionable) after all he’s been thru for so long, I believe he’s “payed his dues” after suffering under the hands of the athorities for So long!!! This is Barbaric!! Killing him now just makes u all killers yourself In my eyes!!

  10. Please don’t kill childs.

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