Pakistan hangs 'innocent' Aftab Bahadur Masih after 23 years on death row

Mr Masih was allegedly 'tortured into confessing to a crime he did not commit'

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The Independent Online

An ‘innocent’ man has been hanged in Pakistan this morning after spending 23 years on death row – despite his lawyers battling to introduce new evidence which could have saved him.

Aftab Bahadur Masih, 38, was just 15-years-old when he was ‘forced into confessing to a murder he did not commit’ more than two decades ago, according to human right groups.

Mr Masih’s execution comes days after another man, Shafqat Hussain, was due to be executed for the kidnapping and involuntary murder of a seven-year-old boy – only Mr Hussain’s hanging was reprieved for a fourth time on Monday.

Mr Masih wrote an essay, a day before, which was published in the Guardian. In it, he said: “I have not given up hope, though the night is very dark.

“It would perhaps have been better not to have to think of what the police did to try to get me to confess falsely to this crime.”

Since December of last year, Pakistan has executed over 150 people after lifting a six-year ban on the death penalty.

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