Pakistan executes man who was a juvenile when arrested

AP News
Posted: Sep 29, 2015 2:33 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan executed a convict on death row before dawn on Tuesday, despite appeals by an international rights group that claimed the man was a juvenile at the time of his arrest in a murder case.

The execution brings to 239 the number of convicts executed by Pakistan since authorities lifted a 2008 moratorium on carrying out death sentences following last December's Taliban attack on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar that killed 150 people, mostly children. According to rights groups, the majority of the convicts executed in Pakistan have been routine criminals — not the Taliban or other insurgents.

On Tuesday, Ansar Iqbal was hanged at a prison in Sargodha, a city in the eastern Punjab province, according to prison official Omar Farooq. He said Iqbal's body was later handed over to his family for burial.

The hanging came a day after Maya Foa, an official with the rights group Reprieve, appealed on Pakistan not to execute Iqbal since he was a juvenile at the time of his arrest in 1994 on murder charges. Iqbal was sentenced to death in 1996, according to Reprieve.

"All the documentary evidence provided to the courts during his trial or appeal indicates that he was a child at the time of the alleged offence; however, the courts have chosen to believe the estimate of police officers that he was in his 20s," Reprieve said Monday.