Urgent Action Update: Health of Death Row Prisoner in Sharp Decline (Pakistan: UA 27.21)

April 12, 2021

The health of Shafqat Emmanuel, who faces execution, along with his wife Shagufta Kausar, is rapidly deteriorating. Shafqat’s lower body is paralyzed, which means he relies on the help of prison guards, which is not readily available, for mobility. He has multiple bed sores, which according to his lawyer, are not being given adequate treatment, and his pain is worsening every day. In March, his family alleges, he was in a coma for three days and was not taken to the hospital. The Christian couple were sentenced to death for sending ‘blasphemous’ texts to a mosque cleric and have consistently denied all allegations. Imprisoned since 2013, the couple were convicted and sentenced to death in April 2014.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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CONTACT INFORMATION

Inspector General Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig
Inspectorate General of Prisons, Punjab
Link Jail Road, Shadman
Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92 4299200498
Email: [email protected]

Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan
Embassy of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan
3517 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 243 6500 I Fax: 202 686 1534
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PakinUSA , @asadmk17
Facebook: @PakistaninUS
Contact Form:  http://embassyofpakistanusa.org/contact-us/
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Inspector General Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig,

I write to you to out of alarm for the sharp decline in health of death row prisoner Shafqat Emmanuel. Shafqat is completely paralyzed from the waist down and must rely on prison guards to perform the most basic tasks like leaving his bed and using the bathroom. Furthermore, as per the application submitted by his lawyer to the Inspector General of Prisons in Punjab, he has painful bed sores and needs urgent health care.

Currently held in Central Jail, Faisalabad I find it alarming that in March, according to his family, Shafqat was in a coma for three days and yet was still not provided adequate medical care. Shafqat and his wife Shagufta Kausar, were convicted of “blasphemy” and sentenced to death in 2014 for allegedly sending “blasphemous” text messages to a mosque cleric.

The couple should not be in jail at all, let alone at risk of execution. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws do not meet human rights law and standards, they lack essential safeguards to minimize the risk of rights violations and illustrate the dangers faced by the country’s religious minorities. The urgency with which the injustices in this case must be remedied is heightened by Shafqat’s pain and lack of access to appropriate health care.

I find it highly distressing that a prisoner who needs urgent health care is not being shifted to the jail hospital. He should not be detained in the first place, and if he is not going to be released, prison authorities must ensure provision of adequate health care whether it is available inside or outside the prison

Therefore, I strongly urge you to grant Shafqat prompt, regular and unrestricted access to adequate health care as necessary. In addition to that, him and his wife Shagufta should be immediately and unconditionally released. We call for the couple and their lawyer to be provided with adequate security upon their release.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

URGENT: Children seeking asylum in the U.S. are being denied their human rights based on their nationality — help ensure that all girls and boys fleeing violence can seek safety.