Sindh extends detention period of Daniel Pearl murder accused
The provincial government on Wednesday extended the detention period of the four accused in the Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder case, whose sentencing was overturned by the Sindh High Court (SHC), for three months.
24NewsHD TV channel reported that the notification issued by the Sindh government said that Omer Saeed Sheikh, Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adeel had been detained under Section 11-EEE of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
According to the notification, the accused, who would be kept in the Central Jail Karachi or Sukkur, could again form a terrorism network if released.
Pearl, 38, the South Asian bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped on January 23, 2002, in Karachi and later beheaded when the abductors' demands were not met. He was investigating a story on religious extremists.
Earlier in May, His parents challenged the SHC verdict to overturn the conviction and sentencing of the four accused involved in his kidnapping and murder.
In an appeal filed with the Supreme Court of Pakistan, they pleaded to nullify the April 2 judgment and argued that the SHC did not take the evidence into consideration.
The release of the accused and reducing the sentences was against the Constitution of Pakistan, they added.
Pearl’s parents, in this connection, also released a video message in which they explained their case to the people.
🚨thread BREAKING NEWS. MUST WATCH. Daniel Pearl's parents, Ruth & @YudaPearl, file appeal in Pakistan's Supreme Court, challenging a ruling that would free 4 men convicted in their son's murder 18 years ago. They make their plea in heartbreaking video that is courage incarnate. pic.twitter.com/EUS40ubTFe— Asra Q. Nomani (@AsraNomani) May 2, 2020
The SHC had converted the death penalty of the main accused, Omer Saeed Sheikh, into seven-year imprisonment and acquitted three others who were stated to be involved in the kidnapping and murder of the American journalist. The four accused were convicted and sentenced by an anti-terrorism court in 2002.
It had prompted a strong reaction from the US which described the decision an affront.
"The overturning of the convictions for Daniel Pearl's murder is an affront to victims of terrorism everywhere," said Alice Wells, the top US diplomat for South Asia.
"Those responsible for Daniel's heinous kidnapping and murder must face the full measure of justice," Wells wrote on Twitter.
It is worth noting that the Sindh government has already filed an appeal against the SHC judgment.