Murrad Gillani is 19. He currently studies at the Lahore College of Arts and Sciences in Pakistan. He participated to the contest « Draw me the abolition » and won the 2nd award for his drawing.

Were you already committed in the struggle against the death penalty before the drawing contest ?

Yes.I always supported the abolition of the death penalty. I have actively participated against the death penalty. I have spoken out against the death penalty on various parliamentary debating tournaments.

What brought you to be against the death penalty ?

For me death penalty is an act of violence and since I first came to know of the idea of death penalty I personally rejected it. Nothing brought me against the death penalty except the idea of death penalty itself.I view it as an act of injustice and different governments impose it because their prisons aren’t strong, their prisons don’t have enough space for prisoners and so some are hanged after conviction, simply because the governments do not care if another life is being lost.

For what particular reasons are you against the death penalty ?

I am strongly against the death penalty because of two reasons. Firstly because the death penalty does not serve justice or retribution to anyone. Secondly because convicted people do not receive proper legal representation and can be prosecuted unfairly. So the risk of an innocent person being sentenced to death is of a high magnitude.

What or who convinced you to take part in the drawing contest against the death penalty ?

Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) conducted a seminar at my school and informed the students of this competition which led me to take part in it.

>>> Read our interview with Zainab Malik from JPP

How did you have the idea of a circular diagram ? Does it illustrate how the death penalty is used in Pakistan ?

No it does not illustrate how death penalty is used in Pakistan. I came up with the idea of a circular diagram as a way to show the core problems with the death penalty without discriminating between the strengths of the problems themselves.

Will you continue to commit against the death penalty ?

Yes definitely. My future aspiration is to be a politician and when I hopefully achieve that aspiration I will definitely work towards passing a bill against the death penalty. Meanwhile I will also be interning with firms who provide legal representation to underprivileged people who are convicted and have been sentenced to death.