Diplomatic efforts beefed up to save Pakistani death row convict in Indonesia | Pakistan Today

Diplomatic efforts beefed up to save Pakistani death row convict in Indonesia

The government has intensified its diplomatic efforts to save a Pakistani national who was sentenced to death in Indonesia after being convicted of drug-related charges.

Zulfiqar Ali, who is facing imminent execution has been imprisoned for 12 years but now is set to be executed.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Ambassador Iwan Suyudhie Amri was summoned to the Foreign Office over the expected execution.

The Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), a human rights law firm, has requested the president to take up the matter with the Indonesian government to save the life of ‘an innocent Pakistani’.

Ali, 52, was arrested in November 2004 in connection with a 300-gram heroine case in Jakarta. A co-accused in the case, Gurdip Singh, retracted his statement against Ali, saying the confession had been coerced from him.

The JPP said the Indonesian police had been unable to bring forward any material evidence to support their charge against Ali.

Ali was arrested at his home without a warrant in Indonesia’s West Java province. For three days, he was “kicked, punched and threatened with death” by the Soekarno-Hatta Airport district police until he was forced to sign a “self-incriminating confession”.

Ali was rushed into an emergency stomach and kidney surgery due to the severity of the physical torture he was subjected to. He remained in the hospital for 17 days, for which the expenses had to be borne by his family, and he still suffered from a number of medical issues as a result, the JPP said.

“Ali, the father of six, was not provided a lawyer for a month, and no one from the Pakistan embassy was contacted. He was detained for over three months before being brought to the first trial hearing. And even though his confession was coerced, as Ali recalled in detail during the trial, the judge allowed it to be used as evidence.”

The JPP pointed out that European citizens were likely to be excused from execution for the same conviction. “Ali, a citizen of a fellow Muslim country, will be executed by firing squad if the Pakistan government does not act now, swiftly,” it said.

Ali’s wife, Siti Rouhani, has pinned her last hopes on the government.

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