Press Release: IHRC Welcomes Death Row Briton’s Reprieve

Islamic Human Rights Commission

23 May 2006

Press Release: IHRC Welcomes Death Row Briton\’s Reprieve

The Islamic Human Rights Commission welcomes news conveyed to it last night by Pakistani authorities that Mirza Tahir Hussain, a British citizen on death row in Pakistan, has had his execution stayed.

While IHRC appreciates the news of President Musharraf\’s intervention, there is still much confusion over whether the reprieve is absolute or only temporary. Both IHRC and Mirza\’s family are still awaiting confirmation in writing. IHRC is still urging all supporters of Mirza\’s case to continue to campaign on his behalf.

IHRC is also 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:

\”While we welcome the news, we are still very concerned as to why Mirza should have to remain in prison for a crime he did not commit. We will continue to campaign for his full release and return to Britain.\”

The campaign to free Mirza is supported by Reprieve, Fair Trials Abroad, Human Rights Watch, Lord Nazir Ahmad, John Battle 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: [ ENDS ]

Notes for Editor:

Mirza Tahir Hussain is British citizen from who Leeds 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 care, 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 had initially been declined.

For further information on Mirza\’s case, please visit

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
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183