Death Penalty in Pakistan to Target Prisoners Unrelated to Terrorism

Death Penalty in Pakistan to Target Prisoners Unrelated to Terrorism © Sputnik/ Denis Voroshilov

23:21 17.12.2014(updated 07:56 18.12.2014)
http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20141217/1015960145.html

MOSCOW, December 17 (Sputnik) — Scores of prisoners in Pakistan might be subjected to death sentence after the revival of death penalty, even though they are not associated with terrorism, the Reprieve human rights group said in a statement Wednesday.

“Many of the prisoners likely to be executed in Pakistan, as the country resumes executions were convicted of crimes that bear no relation to a terrorism threat, Reprieve has said,” the statement published on Reprieve’s website said.

On Wednesday, governmental spokesperson Mohiuddin Wan stated that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the lifting of ban on death penalty, following the Tuesday terrorist attack by the Taliban on a Pakistani school.

On Tuesday, six Taliban gunmen attacked on a school in Pakistan’s Peshawar city. The terror attack resulted in the deaths of around 130 people, most of them children. The Taliban later claimed that the attack was made in retaliation for the recent advancement of Pakistan’s armed forces against the extremist group.

Reprieve said that a 15-year-old boy from whom an admission of guilt was taken by means of torture is similarly likely to face death penalty.

“Our research suggests that many of the individuals, who would be first in line for execution are simply not terrorists, and that the law is being abused in a way that perverts justice and fails to keep anyone safe,” Maya Foa, head of Reprieve’s death penalty team, was quoted as saying in the same statement.

Foa added that countries that have close ties with Pakistan, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, should take immediate action to help ban the move.

The statement also added that almost 40 percent of prisoners in the Pakistani province of Sindh have been rendered terrorists in courtrooms even though their individual cases do not constitute acts of terrorism. Currently, more than 8,000 people are expecting death penalty, according to the statement.

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