News headlines

Arab News
MAKKAH, 4 April 2007:  An 18-year-old Pakistani student was spared the death sentence hours before his execution, which had been scheduled to take place yesterday.

The case was dropped following the intervention of Makkah Gov. Prince Abdul Majeed, who is also the president of the Reconciliation Committee.

The 18-year-old had been convicted of killing a Burmese friend and was sentenced to death three years ago. The Reconciliation Committee has since been trying to convince the victim’s family to forego their demands for an execution and pardon the young man.

The Pakistani youth was led to the execution ground yesterday and was spared at the last minute when the family of the victim agreed to forgive him on the condition that the murderer’s family build a mosque in Makkah bearing the victim’s name.

The agreement was registered at the Reconciliation Committee’s headquarters. The new mosque will now be built in the Al-Khalediah district of of the holy city.

Nasir Al-Zahrani, executive president of the Reconciliation Committee, said everyone offered thanks to Prince Abdul Majeed for personally intervening in the case. “The committee’s efforts were continuing even a few hours before the sentence was to be carried out. The efforts of all the members are highly appreciated and important in spreading the spirit of forgiveness among members of the public,” he said.

Last month the Reconciliation Committee, a charity organization established by Prince Abdul Majeed to save people on death row from execution by negotiating with the families of victims, secured a pardon for a 28-year-old university student who was sentenced to death by a Makkah court for killing a fellow student.

With securing a pardon for the Pakistani youth, the total number of people the committee has managed to save from execution so far reached 112.


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