ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan rejected on Tuesday an appeal against the death sentence of a man convicted of raping and murdering a seven-year-old girl in the eastern city of Kasur, a crime which shocked the country at the beginning of the year and triggered protests in several cities nationwide.
On Feb. 17, Imran Ali, 23, was given four death sentences and one life term in jail for kidnapping, rape, murder and terrorism following a four-day trial.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court that heard the case said that “the crime shocked the whole of society,” that Ali had confessed to the crime and the prosecution had provided solid evidence, including CCTV footage and the convict’s DNA, which matched a sample taken from the victim’s body.
“The court said he doesn’t deserve any leniency,” Ishtiaq Chaudhry, the lawyer representing the girl’s family, told EFE.
Ali can still seek clemency from the country’s President, Mamnoon Hussain.
Mohamed Amin, father of the victim, Zainab, told EFE that he was satisfied with the ruling, although he still hoped that he would “be hanged publicly so our daughters are safer from such heinous crimes in the future.”
The case of Zainab Amin shocked the country, triggering a wave of violent protests that left two dead, and led to nationwide demonstrations.
Amid the national outcry for accountability, the police acknowledged that in the last year in Kasur alone, at least 11 children had been raped, nine of whom were murdered.
Pakistan recorded at least 17,862 cases of child sexual abuse between 2013-2017 – with the victims including 10,620 girls and 7,242 boys – according to a joint report by the Ministry of Human Rights and the non-profit organization Sahil, presented to Parliament in February.