‘He Never Came Back’: The Plight of Pakistani Migrants on Death Row in Saudi Arabia

A rally organized in support of Saudi Arabia after lawmakers voted to support Riyadh in case of any threat to its territorial integrity, Karachi, Pakistan, May 8, 2015 (AP photo by Fareed Khan).
A rally organized in support of Saudi Arabia after lawmakers voted to support Riyadh in case of any threat to its territorial integrity, Karachi, Pakistan, May 8, 2015 (AP photo by Fareed Khan).

LAHORE, Pakistan—When Muhammad Afzal awoke one August morning to go to his job at a textile mill in the industrial city of Faisalabad, he expected the day to unfold much like any other. But while he was at work on the factory floor, a man named Mohammad Shah approached him with an unexpected offer: How would he like to travel to Saudi Arabia? It was 2005, and Afzal—then in his early 30s—had never left Pakistan. He was immediately tempted. The son of poor farmers, he had no education, and he knew that his life in Faisalabad, Pakistan’s third-largest city, was […]

Keep reading for free right now!

Enter your email to get instant access to the rest of this article, get five free articles every 30 days, and to receive our free email newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Become a member now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Weekly in-depth reports, including features on important countries and issues.
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you — right now for just $1 for the first 30 days.

More World Politics Review