The family hope the men involved in the 2002 murder will remain in prison, calling the court’s decision to release them a “travesty of justice.”
The family of American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002, expressed hope that the men implicated in the crime would remain in prison, calling the decision of a provincial court to issue their release orders as “Parody of justice”.
Four men, including British-Pakistani Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, were convicted of kidnapping and murdering the Wall Street Journal reporter.
Sheikh was sentenced to death while the other three men were sentenced to life imprisonment.
In April of this year, Sheikh’s sentence was changed to seven years in prison and the other three were acquitted.
The same court ordered their release on Thursday.
In a statement sent to Al Jazeera on Friday, Pearl’s family said “the murderers should remain in jail” before an appeal of the acquittal decision which is due to be heard by the Supreme Court on January 5.
‘Travestie de la justice’
“We refuse to believe that the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people will allow such a travesty of justice to tarnish Pakistan’s image and heritage,” Pearl’s parents Ruth and Judea said in the statement.
“We believe that our son’s murderers should remain in jail due to Supreme Court appeals, and we are also encouraged to hear that the Pakistani government has appealed against the latest release order so that the murderers of our son remain in prison and that justice prevail.
“We have full confidence in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to deliver justice to our beloved son and reinforce the paramount importance of freedom of the press.”
The 38-year-old reporter from Encino, Calif., Was kidnapped in Karachi in January 2002.
Sheikh was found guilty of aiding in the kidnapping after helping him lure him to a meeting.
Thursday’s court order, seen by Al Jazeera, noted that “none of the petitioners are an ‘enemy alien’ … and as such, their detention under this subsection of the constitution is on trial. illegal and without legal authority ”.
The court order added that all four would be placed on the exit checklist – which would prevent them from leaving the country – until the appeals were decided by the Supreme Court.
Pearl family attorney Faisal Siddiqi told Al Jazeera on Friday that all four should remain in jail because Thursday’s court order “called for them to be released unless the Supreme Court did. orders to keep them in prison and that such a decision exists. order “.
He said Pakistan’s Supreme Court would resume hearing on Sindh High Court’s acquittal appeals on January 5 to determine whether the men were guilty of the charges and should be held in prison.
“Our position is that the acquittal judgment of the Sindh High Court [in April] is false because it is based on the assumption that Daniel’s body was never found, which is false. His body was found and he is buried in Los Angeles, ”Siddiqi told Al Jazeera.
“We are confident that once the hearing resumes on January 5, the Supreme Court will deliver justice to Daniel’s family.”