Home Latest News Rights Groups Urge Pakistan to Halt Non-Terror Execution

Rights Groups Urge Pakistan to Halt Non-Terror Execution

by AFP
Filippo Monteforte—AFP

Filippo Monteforte—AFP

Convicted murderer Shoaib Sarwar is due to be executed on Feb. 3.

Rights organizations on Thursday called on Pakistan to halt the execution of the first civilian for a non-terror related offence since 2008, saying the move would violate its own official policy.

Pakistan lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty last month in the case of convicted terrorists following a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar that killed 150 people. Since then it has hanged 20 people, with plans to execute up to 500.

But a death warrant issued this week for convicted murderer Shoaib Sarwar has raised the prospect of executions being resumed for the rest of the country’s almost 8,000 death row convicts. Rights groups have slammed the announcement, which sets the date of his hanging for Feb. 3 in Rawalpindi.

“The government policy on who should be executed is very clear it says only people who are on terrorism,” said Kate Higham of British legal charity Reprieve, adding the judge in this case had misunderstood his role and succumbed to pressure from the victim’s family.

Analysts believe that resuming the executions in non-terror cases could imperil a favorable trade agreement with the European Union, which exempts Pakistan from taxes on its textile exports.

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