Murad Masih hanged in Lahore. Report by Daily Times.


LAHORE: February 8, 2007. Two civil society organisations are trying to save the lives of two murder convicts sentenced to death by the Lahore High Court (LHC). Murad Masih is scheduled for hanging to death today (Wednesday) and Michael on February 14, 2007. The NGOs have been trying to facilitate a settlement between the complainants. So far they have not succeeded. Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan's chief coordinator Sohail Johnson said that both Murad Masih and Michael had been convicted of murder under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code. "Murad is our first priority because he has very little time," he told Daily Times on Tuesday. "Our pastor, Iqbal Masih, baptised Michael. Murad has confessed his crimes and asked the pastor to pray for him. Our efforts have been focused on locating the complainant (Safdar) in the case so that we may ask him to forgive Murad and allow the death penalty to be revoked, " he added. Johnson said that Safdar was the brother of the murder victim. He said, "We were not able to reach Safdar earlier as he was not in the city, but on Tuesday we finally located him and asked him to forgive Murad. He replied that he was not willing to and directed us to discuss the issue with his other brothers whose whereabouts are unknown." Prison Fellowship Pakistan's executive director Arthur Wilson said, "We are focusing on obtaining a compromise between the complainant's family and the convict's family. We will continue our efforts while there is still hope." He said that the complainant in Michael's case was unavailable and efforts were being made to locate and convince him to forgive Michael and save his life." Murad Masih was convicted of murdering one Jitah Masih and his 10-year-old son Asghar Masih in 1988. Murad is approaching 50 years of age now. The deceased (Jitah) was an informer for the police and reported Murad's presence in Bahman Abad to local police. The police arrested Murad, a confessed criminal, but released him due to lack of evidence. Seeking revenge, Murad murdered Jitah and his son at their home with help from one Saleem, whose whereabouts are still unknown. Jitah's brother, Safdar Masih filed a complaint against Murad. Prison Fellowship Pakistan and Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan consider the death penalty barbaric and have been campaigning for its abolition from the Pakistan's Penal Code. The lawmakers have resisted their efforts, forcing them to seek settlements between the convicted and the victims' families to have the death penalty waived

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