Pakistan must stop death penalty now
19 February 2008 2:29 am
In a letter sent on 18 February, FORUM-ASIA asked Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, to stop execution of a man condemned to death. The letter also calls for him to have a “fair trial and access to lawyers”. Pakistan must follow the resolution for a Global Moratorium on the death penalty adopted at UN General Assembly.
His Excellency Pervez Musharraf
The President of Pakistan
We, the Asian Forum for Human Rights Development (FORUM-ASIA), would like to express our deep concern about the death penalty given to Zahid Masih, who is currently detained in Multan. We are very concerned about his execution, which is scheduled to be on 20 February 2008.
The death penalty is a violation of human rights and human dignity. We believe that human life is precious and must be protected and respected, and that all human beings have the right to live in dignity.
We would bring to your attention the resolution of the global moratorium on death penalty, adopted in December 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly. It clearly states “that there is no conclusive evidence of the death penalty’s deterrent value and that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the death penalty’s implementation is irreversible and irreparable”.
Zahid Masih’s right to fair trial and access to lawyers must be respected. Pakistan is a member of the UN Human Rights Council and the country is strongly urged by the international community to respect Masih’s rights.
Therefore, we request your immediate intervention to:
- stop the execution of Masih;
- grant clemency to him; and
- take steps to abide by the global moratorium since Pakistan is a member of UN Human Rights Council.