Muzzarabad- The family of Shafqat Hussain today appealed to the government and judiciary to save the death row convict, from his execution which is scheduled to take place on March 19.

In 2001, Shafqat had allegedly murdered a child named Umair, and was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in 2004. He was 14-years-old at the time. Mercy appeals for Shafqat were rejected by the high court in 2006, Supreme Court in 2007 and the presidency in 2012.

Shafqat's mother Makhni Begum, along with her daughter Samira bibi, held a press conference Wednesday, during which she alleged that her son was innocent. She said three suspects had been arrested in the case, but only her son was convicted while the other two were let go. Makhni Begum further said that no one was fighting her son's case, which is why he was set to be executed.

She reiterated that Shafqat was a minor at the time when he was sentenced to death, and that according to the law, a minor cannot be sentenced to a death penalty. She added that if her son was executed, it would be a great injustice. She called on human rights organisations and other institutions to play a role in saving her son.

Shafqat's mother said the police had noted his age as 23 years old and since he had no ID documents, neither the court nor his defense lawyer ever challenged that.

“Shafqat, too scared and suffering from a learning disability, did not find it in himself to disagree with anything that the police had told him to say, for fear of being tortured again,” she said.