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Press Release: New Execution Date for British Citizen Abandoned in Pakistan

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A new execution date has been set for Mirza Tahir Hussain --------------------------------------------
Islamic Human Rights Commission
---------------------------------------------

21 July 2006

Press Release: New Execution Date for British Citizen Abandoned in Pakistan

A new execution date has been set for Mirza Tahir Hussain, a British citizen and former member of the TA, who has been on death row since 1988. The Foreign Office has confirmed that a new execution date of 3 August has been set.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission remains very concerned at the lack of substantial intervention by the British government in the case of Mirza Hussain. IHRC is also concerned that President Musharraf has not used his power under Article 45 of the Constitution to completely pardon Mirza as he has done in previous cases. This refusal is indicative of a lack of political will on the part of both the Pakistani and British governments to free Mirza.

IHRC is calling for the release of Mirza and his return to his home in the UK. Mirza has already served eighteen years in prison in what has been a clear miscarriage of justice.

IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh stated:

“There is no more time for excuses; a British citizen's life is at stake and it is time for Prime Minister Blair to personally intervene on his behalf.”

The campaign to free Mirza is supported by Reprieve, Fair Trials Abroad, Human Rights Watch, Lord Nazir Ahmad, John Battle MP, The Rt. Hon. Hillary Benn MP, Greg Mulholland MP, and Sajjad Karim MEP. Amnesty International is also opposed to the execution of Mirza Tahir Hussain.

For more information please contact (+44) 20 8904 4222, or (44) 7958 522196 or (44) 7737 181910 or email: info@ihrc.org [ ENDS ]

Notes for Editors:

Mirza Tahir Hussain is British citizen from Leeds who went to Pakistan in December 1988 at the age of 18 to visit family. During a taxi-journey from Rawalpindi station to his village, the driver stopped the car, produced a gun and tried to assault Mirza. In the altercation, the gun went off and the driver was killed.

Mirza immediately went to the nearest police station and was subsequently charged, convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of the driver. Despite the High Court acquitting him of all charges, Mirza was retried in the Federal Shariat Court and the death sentence re-imposed. An application for clemency was made to President Musharraf but was declined.

Mirza had been due to be executed in May but had been granted one month extensions since then.

For further information on Mirza's case, please visit http://ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=1834

If you would like to contact Mirza's family members to arrange an interview, please contact Islamic Human Rights Commission.


Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org
info@ihrc.org


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