‘Tricked by drug traffickers’ say family
all credits: BBC News
published: 26 March 2014
Any news updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item
The family of a British woman jailed for smuggling drugs out of Pakistan believe she was unfairly convicted. Khadija Shah, from Birmingham, was arrested at Islamabad airport in 2012 and gave birth while behind bars.
Her mother, who asked not to be named, thinks Shah was tricked into carrying 63kg (138lb) of heroin by traffickers. She is concerned about the health of Shah and her baby, Malaika. Prison officials have previously said they were being treated well.
The mother said she believed traffickers took advantage of a vulnerable woman who was heavily pregnant.
‘Cries at night’
“It’s not her fault; she didn’t know,” she said.
“I know my daughter; she is a very innocent girl.”
The heroin, worth about £3.2m in the UK, was found inside a number of suitcases in Shah’s possession. The 27-year-old claimed she was carrying the cases for someone else and was unaware of the contents.
She was jailed for life last week by a court in Rawalpindi.
Shah’s mother, 60, now looks after her two other children, a boy of seven and a girl of five. “Every time they go to bed, they always ask about their mum, sometimes they are crying as well,” she said. “The little girl cries at night.”
‘She’s been tricked’
“She says, ‘I’m thinking about my mum. I want my mum to come back soon’.”
The mother said conditions in the prison were horrific, with stifling temperatures and overcrowded cells.
Lawyers have said they plan to appeal against the life sentence.
Another relative, who wanted to remain anonymous, also said Shah was innocent. “Khadija, she’s not like that, she has never done anything like this before,” she said. “The thing that came to our mind was that she’s been tricked; she’s definitely been tricked into this.”
Khadija Shah (Reprieve profile)