Pakistan child killer handed four death sentences

Primary suspect Imran Ali has said that he deserves no mercy

Expressing satisfaction over the verdict of an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore that handed down death sentence on four counts to the culprit in Zainab rape and murder case, the eight-year-old victim's family has demanded public execution for the convict, Imran Ali. Her death brought rampaging mobs onto the streets in search of her killer.

Ali was handed four separate death sentences after being convicted of the rape and murder of Zainab, as well as terrorism charges.

Police say there have been 12 similar murders in Kasur in the past two years.

Prosecution in Zainab's murder and rape case has chose to recommend public execution of the convict, Imran Ali, to the Punjab government.

Ali said he lured the girl by saying that her parents had returned and she should go with him to meet them.

During the court proceedings, several witnesses, including Zainab's uncle and her neighbours, testified against Imran Ali.

The court announced the decision in the presence of Mohammad Imran, 24, who had pleaded guilty during the five-day trial, the public prosecutor Ehtesham Qadir told reporters outside a high-security prison in the eastern city of Lahore, where the trial was held.


He said Ali will be tried for rest of the cases later.

Zainab was kidnapped while she was walking from her house to her Quran studies class on 4 January.

The heinous nature of the crime had seen immediate riots break out in Kasur - in which two people were killed - while #JusticeforZainab became a rallying cry for an end to violence against children.

In addition to the verdict, Zainab's family will receive one million Pakistani rupees in compensation by the attacker.

Earlier, his lawyer had withdrawn from the case after Ali had confessed to the crime, it was reported. Her body was recovered from a garbage heap on January 9.

At least 10 such cases a day of child abuse are reported in Pakistan, according to Sahil, a non-governmental organisation that works on child protection.

Zainab's case has sparked debate in Pakistan about whether children should be taught to guard against sex abuse, a subject that is generally taboo in the majority Muslim country.

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