BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Spanish Portuguese Caribbean
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Americas  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 01:11 GMT
Clemency plea for Pakistani man
Supporters of Aimal Kansi protest in Quetta, Pakistan
Mr Kansi's death sentence has sparked protests
The family of a Pakistani national facing execution in the American state of Virginia has made a last-ditch appeal for clemency, supported by the Pakistani embassy.

Aimal Khan Kansi (also known as Mir Aimal Kansi), 38, was convicted in the 1993 killings of two Central Intelligence Agency employees who were gunned down outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Aimal Kansi's brother, Naseebullah
Mr Kansi's brother says the convicted man is ready to die
The case has prompted some protests in Pakistan and the US State Department has warned that the sentence could spark retaliations from extremists.

A Pakistani Government spokesman in Washington said his government had forwarded a letter from Kansi's mother to both the US State Department and to Virginia Governor Mark Warner, pleading for clemency.

Pakistani press officer Asad Hayauddin told the news agency AFP that his government "sent our support of the letter," asking that Kansi's sentence to be commuted for "humanitarian" reasons.

But he said Pakistan could not formally "petition" in the case as the country had helped the US arrest Kansi after he had fled back to his homeland, allowing him to face trial in 1997.

Amnesty International has raised questions about the legality of his arrest and extradition from Pakistan.


The American government should honour the sentiments of Muslims and should reconsider the death sentence

Arbab Jamil Kansi

Kansi is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Thursday at 2100 local time (0200 GMT Friday), but has also appealed against his sentence to the US Supreme Court and to Governor Warner.

Kansi "is in high spirits and has no regrets as he is mentally prepared to become a martyr", his brother, Naseebullah, told AFP in his home town of Quetta.

Naseebullah said his brother was not an extremist.

"Like many Pakistanis he hates United States policies towards Muslims, particularly in the case of the Palestinians," he said.

Protests

There were reports of protests in Quetta, the capital of south-western Balochistan Province, against the impending execution, including a rally attended by at least 80 lawyers.

"The US should review its policies that are creating anti-US feelings among the oppressed nations in the world," said Ali Ahmed Kurd, president of the Balochistan Bar Association.

Protester in Multan
The US State Department has warned Americans about reprisal attacks

In Multan, several hundred college students staged a demonstration calling for Kansi's return to Pakistan.

There have been several such protests in recent days, and there have been some fears that Kansi's execution could spark reprisal attacks by Islamic militants against Americans abroad.

Kansi's tribal leader, Arbab Jamil Kansi, urged the US to back down, warning that the execution would spark anger.

"The American Government should honour the sentiments of Muslims and should reconsider the death sentence," he said.

Warning

The US State Department warned on 7 November that the execution could mean attacks against the United States or its foreign interests.

The statement said that targets "may include facilities where Americans or possibly other foreigners are generally known to congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches".

Kansi's brother said that if the appeals for clemency fail, the family wants to bury Kansi in the ancestral graveyard in Quetta.

Doctor and CIA intelligence analyst Lansing Bennett, 66, and CIA agent Frank Darling, 28, were gunned down outside CIA headquarters in 1993.

Kansi fled the country the next day, and US authorities claim he spent much of the next four years not in Pakistan but in neighbouring Afghanistan.

See also:

11 Nov 02 | South Asia
07 Nov 02 | Americas
16 Nov 97 | In Depth
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes