ADPAN appeals to the Pakistani government to extend the informal moratorium introduced in 2008 and halt all future executions.
More than 8000 prisoners face imminent execution after a presidential order suspending executions by the previous government expired on 30 June 2013.
In late 2008, President Asif Ali Zardari suspended executions but this decision is currently being reviewed by the newly elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director Polly Truscott said, “at a time when Pakistan’s justice system is struggling to cope with the law and order situation, it can be all too easy for governments to see the death penalty as a quick fix solution. But the death penalty is not the answer to Pakistan’s justice problems.”
“Resuming executions would do nothing to tackle crime or militancy, but instead just perpetuate a cycle of violence,” she added.
Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson of ADPAN member organisation the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), said, “well-documented deficiencies of the law, administration of justice, police investigation methods, as well as chronic corruption in Pakistan today have not improved since the government first decided to suspend executions in 2008…capital punishment allows for a high probability of miscarriages of justice, …wholly unacceptable in any civilised society, but even more so when the punishment is irreversible.” Zohra Yusuf went on to say, “…the systematic and generalised application of death penalty has not led to an improvement of the situation of law and order in the country…”
This echoes recent comments made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon last month, where he urged member states to abolish the death penalty, “We have a duty to prevent innocent people from paying the ultimate price for miscarriages of justice”.
With the exception of the execution of a soldier in November 2012, death sentences have not been carried out in Pakistan since 2008.
ADPAN with members from across the Asia Pacific region including Pakistan work for an end to the death penalty across the region.
ADPAN members :