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Pakistan Executes Man Who Was Minor When Crime Committed

The brother of Ansar Iqbal, who was convicted for the murder of a neighbor 16 years ago, sits in an ambulance next to the body of Ansar after his execution in Sargodha on September 29.

Pakistan has executed a convict for a murder that rights groups and his family said he committed as a minor.

Officials said Ansar Iqbal was hanged before dawn on September 29 at a prison in the city of Sargodha, in Punjab Province.

Iqbal was sentenced to death in 1996, although his defense claimed he was just 15 when he committed the crime.

Under Pakistani law, anyone under 18 at the time of the crime cannot face the death penalty.

UK-based rights group Reprieve, which says a birth certificate and school documents proving Iqbal’s age were dismissed by the court, issued a last-minute appeal to President Mamnoon Hussain for a pardon.

Some 240 convicts have been executed by Pakistan since authorities lifted last December a 2008 moratorium on carrying out death sentences.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa