Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network

PAKISTAN – 465 executed since moratorium lifted in December 2014

Pakistan executes 465 people since lifting of death penalty ban

Lahore, July 7 (IANS) At least 465 persons have been executed in Pakistan since the country lifted the ban on death penalty in December 2014, said a non-government organisation working for prisoners’

Lahore, July 7 (IANS) At least 465 persons have been executed in Pakistan since the country lifted the ban on death penalty in December 2014, said a non-government organisation working for prisoners’ rights.

Such a high number of executions has made Pakistan the “fifth most prolific executioner” in the world, following China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Dawn online cited a data analysis by Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) as showing.

The analysis said the use of death penalty has failed to curb crime, including terrorism. The death penalty is exceedingly being used as a political tool, sometimes even as a jail overcrowding solution.

Punjab province, which accounts for 83 per cent of the executions and 89 per cent death sentences in Pakistan, has witnessed only a 9.7 per cent drop in murder rate between 2015 and 2016.

Sindh province has, however, registered a drop of nearly 25 per cent in the same time period. The province carried out only 18 executions compared to 382 in Punjab.

The analysis said murder rate in Pakistan was already on the decline before the moratorium was lifted, casting even more doubt on the already dubious relationship between the death penalty and crime reduction.

Yearly trends of executions showed that anti-terrorism courts (ATCs) accounted for only 16 per cent of the executions.

The JPP said the government sought to justify lifting of the moratorium for all 27 death-eligible crimes by claiming that it was necessary to deter terrorist threat to Pakistan.

But the data said the government was mostly hanging terrorists through military courts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and through ATCs in Sindh.

The research claimed that people are executed in Pakistan to make room in the overcrowded prisons.

Currently, 25 of the 27 prisons in the province are significantly over-capacity and the highest number of executions take place in the most overcrowded prisons.

The JPP in a statement said that Pakistan was heading for its first UN review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on July 11 that obligated it to uphold and respect the right to life for all citizens.

It said Pakistan’s return to an executing state has been taken up in the list of issues framed by the Human Rights Council committee.

JPP Executive Director Sarah Belal said Pakistan’s troubling and continued use of the death penalty had continuously fallen short of meeting its international human rights commitments and fair trial standards, as well as the country’s own domestic laws.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

Published Date: July 7, 2017 3:01 PM IST – http://www.india.com/news/agencies/pakistan-executes-465-people-since-lifting-of-death-penalty-ban-2301553/

UNGA Resolution 2016 -24 of OIC’s 57 member states voted in favour, 13 abstained and 18 voted against

The resolution adopted on Dec 19, 2016 was backed by 117 states, while 40 voted against it and 31 abstained.

South Asia maintained its fondness for the death penalty as Pakistan joined Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Maldives in rejecting a universal moratorium, while Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka voted in favour.

24 of the OIC’s 57 member states voted in favour of the moratorium, while 13 abstained and only 18 voted against. The Muslim states that voted against were: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Those who abstained included: Bahrain, Came­roon, Comoros, Djibouti, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and the UAE.

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Pakistan Supreme Court rules schizophrenia ‘not a mental disorder’ allowing mentally ill man to be executed

Pakistan Supreme Court rules schizophrenia ‘not a mental disorder’ allowing mentally ill man to be executed

Judges say hanging Imdad Ali is legal because condition is ‘a recoverable disease’

Lizzie Dearden
@lizziedearden
Thursday 20 October 2016

8K
pakistan-death-penalty-protest.jpg

Activists from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) carry placards during a demonstration to mark International Day Against the Death Penalty in Islamabad on October 10, 2015 AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan’s highest court has ruled that schizophrenia does not qualify as a “mental disorder” under the country’s legal definition, paving the way for a mentally ill man’s execution.

The United Nations warned it would be against international law to hang Imdad Ali, who was sentenced to death over the murder of a religious scholar in 2002.

In 2012, the 50-year-old was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and psychosis that doctors said impaired Mr Ali’s “rational thinking and decision-making capabilities”, and was declared clinically insane in a medical report the following year.

But he lost his final appeal last year and has since had his execution stayed by a last-minute appeal lodged by his wife at the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, judges ruled that the execution can go ahead, after finding that Mr Ali’s schizophrenia is not a permanent condition and varies according to the “level of stress”.

Reprieve, a UK-based legal charity, said the court claimed that “it is, therefore, a recoverable disease, which, in all the cases, does not fall within the definition of ‘mental disorder’ as defined in the Mental Health Ordinance, 2001”.

The decision Mr Ali could be executed as early as 26 October, despite a medical assessment in September concluding his illness appeared to be “treatment resistant”.

Previously, the same court said a large proportion of prisoners in Pakistan suffer from mental illness and that authorities “cannot let everyone go”.

Maya Foa, a director of Reprieve, said: “It is outrageous for Pakistan’s Supreme Court to claim that schizophrenia is not a mental illness, and flies in the face of accepted medical knowledge, including Pakistan’s own mental health laws.

“It is terrifying to think that a mentally ill man like Imdad Ali could now hang because judges are pretending that schizophrenia is not a serious condition.

“Pakistan’s President needs to urgently intervene to stop this sickening attempt to hang Imdad.”

The UN’s human rights office has called on the government to halt Mr Ali’s execution and to launch a re-trial “in compliance with international standards”.

“It is a violation of death penalty safeguards to impose capital punishment on individuals with a psychosocial disability,” said a panel of experts from the Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR).

“The courts have disregarded medical reports asserting that the defendant has a psychosocial disability and have not conducted an independent evaluation of his mental health status.

“Implementing the death penalty under these conditions is unlawful and tantamount to an arbitrary execution, as well as a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.”

The body said Mr Ali was referred for mental health treatment a year before the alleged murder but that the illness was not mentioned in the court ruling sentencing him to death.

In September, the first secretary of Pakistan’s permanent mission to the UN said the government was examining the country’s penal code to determine whether the death penalty could be “narrowed” amid criticism over Mr Ali’s case.

More than 400 people have been executed since the government lifted a four-year moratorium on the death penalty in 2014, following the Taliban’s massacre at a school in Peshawar.

Capital punishment was initially only restored for terror offences but later reinstated for kidnapping, murder, blasphemy and other capital crimes, leaving more than 8,000 prisoners on death row. – Independent, 20/10/2016

 

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