Pakistan hangs top 300

2015-11-15 19:08
(Picture: APF)

(Picture: APF)

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Islamabad - Pakistan has hanged more than 300 death row prisoners in the nearly 11 months since if lifted a moratorium on executions last year, officials said on Sunday, in a trend decried by rights activists.

"The executions figure now stands at 311," an Interior Ministry official told dpa, requesting anonymity. The number of hanging executions is usually a very closely guarded secret for the government.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) recorded 294 hangings through November 4, spokesperson Zaman Khan said.

At least 17 more hangings took place since then, taking the number beyond 300, the Interior Ministry officials said.

The government lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty in December 2014 after Taliban militants killed 136 children at a school in the north-western city of Peshawar.

The government initially said it would execute only those death row prisoners convicted on terrorism charges. However, most of those hanged so far have been found guilty of crimes like murder, according to HRCP.

More than 300 executions took place in 2015, putting Pakistan in third place for countries with the highest number of hangings in a year, after China and Iran.

More than 7 000 death row prisoners are awaiting the gallows in Pakistani jails, according to statistics compiled by the Law Ministry. Many of them have been waiting for decades.

The United Nations, European Union, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other global bodied have urged Pakistan to immediately reinstate the moratorium.

The HRCP spokesman called the development extremely cruel and painful.

"It's extremely shocking," said Zaman Khan. "Cruelty at its worse, to say the least."

Read more on:    pakistan

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