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April 3, 2020 12:54 pm

Pakistani Authorities Rearrest Four Terrorists Acquitted for Murder of Daniel Pearl

avatar by Algemeiner Staff and Agencies

A portrait of the late Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Photo: Reuters / Ian Waldie.

Pakistani authorities on Friday ordered the four men convicted of the 2002 murder of American-Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl to be detained for three months, despite a lower court’s ruling to overturn their convictions.

The High Court in the province of Sindh acquitted the four on Thursday. The group includes British national Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was sentenced to death in 2002 for masterminding Pearl’s murder. The other three were sentenced to life.

The provincial government of  Sindh issued the order to arrest and detain the four before they were released from prison.

“The government of Sindh has sufficient reason that Ahmed Omar Sheikh and Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib, Sheikh Muhammad Adil be arrested and detained for a period of three months from the date of arrest (April 2, 2020),” a top official of the department said in the order.

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The official cited concern that the released men may act “against the interest of the country.”

The law to keep them in detention is one that the Pakistani government has often used to keep high-profile terrorists in custody after being unable to successfully prosecute them in court.

The United States denounced Thursday’s court acquittal of the four, with the top US diplomat for South Asia writing on Twitter that it was “an affront to victims of terrorism everywhere.”

Faiz Shah, the prosecutor-general in Sindh, said immediately after the court’s decision on Thursday that he would launch an appeal — a move supported by Daniel Pearl’s family.

“Anyone with a minimal sense of right and wrong now expects Faiz Shah to do his duty and appeal this reprehensible decision to the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” Pearl’s father, Judea, told The Algemeiner in an earlier email.

The decision to acquit the four terrorists was “a mockery of justice,” Judea Pearl added.

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