British woman faces death penalty In Pakistan

British woman faces death penalty In Pakistan
Photo: Muslim woman. Source: © Geralt/24718 images/Pixabay, 2022.

 

Kirsten O’Connell

Pakistan & Human Rights Researcher 

Global Human Rights Defence

 

 

A British woman is facing the death penalty in the State of Pakistan for allegedly ordering the murder of her husband. She has said that Pakistani authorities have beat her every day to try and get a confession from her. “I was held at a police station for two weeks, where I was hit every day” said Yasmin Kausar. 64. “They tried to force a confession, but I wouldn’t make a statement that wasn’t true.” Yasmin is from Bradford, England, and has spoken of her relief after being released on bail because she has been held in the Pakistani prison since April 4, 2022 and was released in June. She was detained after the burnt remains of her husband of 23 years was found in a car at a rubbish dump in Rawalpindi in the region of Punjab. Yasmin was held on suspicion of having killed her husband, Mohammad Farooq, 65, by a 23 year old man who worked for his family and who police claim was hired by her. 

 

Yasmin’s husband was a director for a British property firm with hotels in Leeds and Pakistan. Maintaining her innocence, her lawyer later applied for bail which was refused by the sessions court in Rawalpindi. However, Mr. Justice Muhammad Tariq Nadeem granted Yasmin’s bail after an appeal was taken to the high court in Lahore. The judge highlighted the flaws in the prosecution argument against bail in his order, including no direct evidence available that can connect Yasmin to the crime she is being accused of. When she was freed from prison, she stayed with relatives in Pakistan because the trial starts next week. Yasmin hopes to be found not guilty. She further said “I’m not good, I’m still upset, I’m upset about what’s happened to me, what they did to me and what they’re doing now. I’m devastated this has happened to me. I’ve not been able to grieve the loss of my husband. I can’t come to terms with the fact he's gone, he was my soul mate for over 25 years. It’s hard, it’s very hard. Throughout this ordeal, my brother has passed away, so I’ve suffered two losses.” Yasmin is also diabetic and was holed up in a prison cell with four other women in a wing that housed 32 prisoners, some who have children with them in the jail. 

 

She spoke further on the conditions in the prison and stated “I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. I didn’t have any rights. I wasn’t able to speak to my family in the UK, there was no system in place to speak to them. My medicine was kept by the prison officers, and I had to ask for it. They would shut the toilets for hours at a time and just not let you go. They’d tell you [to] wet yourself basically. I thought because I’m a British citizen that the UK Embassy would come and get me out, but they didn’t. It was very hot in the prison, and it was very dirty. It was a terrible ordeal, I’m glad to be out. I just hope now for justice and to be home with my family in the UK. I want to go home and be with my children.” 

The Pakistan authorities believe Farooq was strangled at his family’s home before his killer drove the body to a rubbish dump around 27 miles away and torched the car. His burnt body was found at the dump at Morgah, near Islamabad, on April 1. They believe Yasmin was having an affair with a younger lover, a 22 year old mechanic employed by the family called Abdul Waheed, who they allege wanted to run away to the UK with her. He was arrested alongside 24 year old Abdul Idrees. The Pakistani police allege the trio hatched a plot to kill Yasmin’s late husband. However, Yasmin children both say their mother has been framed, saying it is absurd she would begin an affair with a man young enough to be her grandson. A spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office told the Nottingham Post, “[w]e are in contact with the local authorities in Pakistan following the death of a British man and are providing consular support to his family.” Also, Bradford West MP Naz Shah has written to Pakistan’s Prime Minister to raise concerns about the investigation’s credibility. 

Source and further reading: Brown, T. (2022, July 12). British woman, 64, facing the death penalty in Pakistan claims police beat her to force a confession. Mail Online. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11005599/British-woman-64-facing-death-penalty-Pakistan-claims-police-beat-force-confession.html