Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Pakistan executes 17 on death row, highest ever since lifting moratorium

Source: Indian Express (29 April 2015)

Pakistan on Tuesday hanged 17 prisoners, the highest number of executions on a single day since reversing of the country’s self-imposed moratorium on the death penalty in December after the Taliban school massacre.
The prisoners were executed in different jails of Punjab and Balochistan province.
Sixteen executions were carried out in different jails of Punjab province, including Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Multan, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Lahore and Rawalpindi while one man was hanged in Macch jail of Quetta.
Three convicts Inayatullah, Zafar Iqbal and Muhammad Latif were hanged in Central Jail in Gujranwala.
Inayatullah was convicted for the murder of seven people from the same family in Wazirabad.
Iqbal and Latif were hanged for shooting four people including one woman.
Three men Muhammad Hussain, Nizamuddin and Azam were hanged in Central Jail Faisalabad.
The first two were convicted for the murder of three people in 1998, while Azam was convicted for murdering seven people from one family in 2004.
Another three persons were hanged in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail for murder.
Separately, in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail, two convicts were hanged for murder.
Two men were hanged in Sialkot Jail for the gang-rape of a minor in 1999, while one person was hanged in Multan’s Central jail for committing murder in 2000.
Another man was executed in Sahiwal’s Central Jail for murdering a man in 1998, while convict Azhar Mehmood was hanged in Gujrat District Jail for murder in 1995.
A convict named Riaz Ahmed was also hanged for murder in Quetta’s Mach jail.
The latest executions bring ober 80 the number of convicts hanged since Pakistan resumed executions on December 17, a day after a Taliban attack on an army school in Peshawar that killed more than 150 people, mostly children.
There are more than 8,000 death row prisoners in the country.
Initially executions were limited to terrorism offences but on March 10 the government decided to implement death penalty in all cases following the Peshawar school massacre in December.
The moratorium on executions had been in place since a democratic government took power from a military ruler in 2008.
Supporters of the execution argue that it is the only option to deal with the scourge of militancy but human rights group are highly critical of it.
Pakistan executed 12 prisoners convicted under militancy and murders charges on March 12, the second highest number of hangings in a single day since the moratorium on death penalty was lifted.

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