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Pakistan: One hundred people sent to the gallows since death penalty moratorium lifted

28th April 2015, 11:58:33 UTC

Pakistan has today reached a “shameful milestone” with the 100th execution since a moratorium on executions was lifted in December 2014, said Amnesty International. The country is gaining a reputation as one of the leading executioners in the world.

Amnesty International recorded the 100th execution in Pakistan today, since a moratorium was lifted on 17 December 2014 in the wake of the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar. Munir Hussain, sentenced to death for murder, was hanged in Punjab province this morning.

“In reaching this shameful milestone of 100 executions in just over four months, the Pakistani authorities are showing total disregard for human life. Our concerns are heightened by manifestly unfair trials in many cases that fall well below minimum standards set by international law. This conveyor belt of killing will do nothing to address the root causes of crime and terrorism, and must end immediately,” said David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.

“Executions in Pakistan have picked up pace alarmingly in recent weeks, and are now an almost daily occurrence. If the government does not immediately re-impose a moratorium on executions, there is no telling how many more lives will be lost this year” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International Ireland.

“Serious crimes like murder and acts of terrorism are utterly reprehensible but killing people in the name of justice is not a particular deterrent. Those who carry out crimes must be prosecuted in fair trials, but without resort to the death penalty.”

Amongst thousands at risk is Shafqat Hussain, whose lawyers say he was a juvenile at the time of his trial during which evidence obtained as a result of torture was used against him.

As of today, 140 countries are abolitionist in law or practice. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt or innocence of the individual; or the method of execution.