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Pakistan Hangs Man Who Was 15 When Convicted


Relatives of Aftab Bahadur Masih mourn beside his body after his execution in Lahore.

Relatives of Aftab Bahadur Masih mourn beside his body after his execution in Lahore.

Pakistan has executed a man who was 15 when he was sentenced to death for murder, despite an outcry from human rights groups and the United Nations.

Aftab Bahadur Masih was sentenced to death for killing three people in 1992, but rights group Reprieve said two witnesses who implicated Bahadur had since recanted, saying they were tortured.

Bahadur's lawyers said he was also tortured into confessing. Testimony obtained by torture is inadmissible.

At the time of the murders, the death penalty was legal for 15-year-olds, but the minimum age was raised to 18 in 2000.

A jail official in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore said Bahadur was "crying and saying he was innocent" before the early morning hanging on June 10. Badahur wrote about his innocence in essays from jail before his death.

"Pakistan proceeded with Mr. Bahadur's execution despite his having been sentenced to death when he was a child -- in violation of both international and Pakistani law," Reprieve said.

Pakistan also executed two other accused murderers on June 8.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Geo.TV
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