The heart-wrenching tale of Aftab Bahadur

The Guardian's disturbing headline today on Aftab Bahadur reads: ‘Aftab Bahadur’s killing is not only tragic, it is perverse.’

To me, this killing was the brutal realisation that our country, where the innocent are executed and the guilty go free, is doomed for ever.

Aftab Bahadur, a Pakistani Christian, was only 15 when he was convicted of murder after a forced confession under torture and on the basis of two testimony - both later retracted claiming they were made under torture.

In an interview, a day ago, Bahadur said, ‘Being asked about how I was tortured by the police brought back terrible memories. I am innocent, but I do not know whether that will make any difference.’

It clearly did not.

The Guardian describes the details of his case as:

'Ghulam Mustafa, a plumber with whom Aftab worked as an apprentice, was arrested early in the morning of 6 September 1992, and implicated Aftab under torture. Ghulam was set to die on Wednesday as well, but after recanting his statement – and saying that Aftab had nothing to do with the crime – was pardoned.

According to Aftab, when he was arrested the police asked for a 50,000-rupee bribe and said they would let him go if he paid. As a plumber’s apprentice, Aftab said he could not pay. The only “eyewitness” to the crime who testified against Aftab recently made a statement before a religious minister that he was coerced into his testimony, that he was not even there, and that he certainly did not see Aftab commit the crime.'

It is reckless to reinstate capital punishment in a society with literally no effective law and order system, or concept of fair trial; where buying evidences and falsely implicating poor for crimes is rampant.

At the same time, you quitely release eight of 10 men who were reported to have been given life sentences by a secret military court recently for their role in the attack on Malala Yousafzai.

A tragic mockery of justice!

 Kudos to Pakistan reinstatement of death penalty, and to those who justify it.

2025 hours
Wednesday 10 June 2015

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