“We refuse to believe that the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people will let such a travesty of justice tarnish the image and legacy of Pakistan,” Judea Pearl, father of slain US journalist Daniel Pearl, told The Correspondent.
Also speaking of behalf his wife, Ruth, Pearl said: “We believe that our son’s murderers should remain in jail because of the Supreme Court Appeals, and we are also heartened to hear the Government of Pakistan is filing an appeal against the latest release order so that our son’s murderers will remain in jail and justice will prevail.”
“We have full confidence in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to provide justice for our beloved son and reinforce the paramount importance of the freedom of the press,” Daniel Pearl’s parents stated.
This message comes in response to the Sindh High Court (SHC)’s order on Thursday to immedietely release Daniel Pearl’s murder suspects from police custody, and to place them on the Exit Control List. The court cited the lack of legal grounds to keep the suspects in custody, after the Sindh Government had twice extended its notification to keep the four accused detained for “public safety.” The SHC has deemed this notification void because it does not mention the primary accused, Omar Sheikh’s association with any terrorist organization.
The Unites States (US) State Department on Friday expressed “deep concern” over these developments, and said it has been assured that the accused have not yet been released from custody.
“We continue to stand with the Pearl family through this extremely difficult process,” the US State Department said in a tweet. “We continue to honor Daniel Pearl’s legacy as a courageous journalist.”
Daniel Pearl, an American journalist serving as Wall Street Journal’s Pakistan bureau chief, was beheaded in Pakistan in 2002. Four accused in the murder case were convicted to death or life imprisonment. However, all accused were acquitted by the Sindh High Court in April 2020.
The acquittal is currently being appeal in the Supreme Court by Pearl’s parents, Ruth and Judea Pearl, as well as the Sindh government. The next court hearing for the case is scheduled for January 5, 2021.