Pakistan, Discipline Police Who Charged Infant with Attempted Murder

  • by: Susan V
  • recipient: Government of Pakistan

In February a 9-month-old boy was fingerprinted and charged with attempted murder by police in Lehore Pakistan. The family’s lawyer said the charges should have been dropped, but why was a baby charged with a crime in the first place?!

This display of “incompetence “ by Pakistan police came on top of another outrage, in which police cut off gas and electric supplies to the infant’s poor neighborhood. The father, who was also arrested along with 30 other neighbors accused of trying to stone police to death, say the reports of violence are false. "Our crime,” he told Times Of India, “is that we had protested against non-availability of electricity in our locality,"

Even more outrageous, news reports say Judge Rafaqat Ali actually set bail and a trial date (April 12) for the baby boy - instead of dropping the charges.

According to the family lawyer, the minimum age for criminal prosecution in Pakistan is generally 12. Charging any aged child with a serious crime is unacceptable, but holding an infant responsible for a crime is beyond absurd and abusive.

Tell Pakistan to discipline police who charged an infant boy with attempted murder.

We, the undersigned, say Pakistan police who arrested an infant boy should be disciplined and possibly charged with child abuse.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, 9-month-old Muhammad Mosa Khan was booked in February, along with 30 others, for allegedly throwing stones at police and energy officials who had come to turn off gas and electricity. The Telegraph writes that:

    Apparently deciding that the nine month old was capable of - and had - taken       part in the alleged stone throwing, Sub-Inspector Kashif Ahmed decided to        arrest the child. What followed were farcical scenes in which the toddler was     fingerprinted and made to sit on his grandfather’s lap in court, drinking his bottle.

This news source adds that the judge noted “the absurd nature” of the charges against the infant, but that he had no power to dismiss them.

However, according to the Huffington Post report, the family’s attorney says "The court should have simply referred the minor's case to the High Court to drop the charges against the innocent child and acquit him from the case.”

Certainly this situation should never have occurred in the first place, and putting this child and family through any further stress and abuse should not even be a question of consideration for any court or authority.

We request that charges be dropped against all family members, and police who arrested this infant, Muhammad Mosa Khan, be properly disciplined.

Thanks for your time.

Update #17 years ago
ABC reports that the charges against this infant were dropped over the weekend. However, the family's attorney reveals a disturbing picture of widespread corruption behind the boy's arrest. He said the "charges against the family are 'strong-arm tactics' by police to ultimately evict them and other poorer families and grab their land." Please keep the pressure on to make sure this situation is thoroughly investigated.
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